Skip to main content

Full text of "Frontier boys on the coast : or, in the pirate's power"

See other formats

H^I^ XV IkYT^l 12* V^ 




Frontier Boys on the Coast. 









This series tells the adventures of Jim, Joe, and 
Tom Darlington, first in their camp wagon as they 
follow the trail to the great West in the early days. 
They are real American boys, resourceful, humorous, 
and but you must meet them. You will find them 
interesting company. They meet with thrilling ad- 
ventures and encounters, and stirring incidents are 
the rule, not exception. 

Historically, these books present a true picture of 
a period in our history as important as it was pictur- 
esque, when the nation set its face toward this vast 
unknown West, and conquered it. 

1. Frontier Boys on Overland Trail 

2. Frontier Boys in Colorado 

3. Frontier Boys in the Rockies 

4. Frontier Boys in the Grand Canyon 

5. Frontier Boys in Mexico 

6. Frontier Boys on the Coast 

7. Frontier Boys in Hawaii 

8. Frontier Boys in the Sierras 

9. Frontier Boys in the Saddle 

10. Frontier Boys in Frisco. 

11. Frontier Boys in the South Seas 

Illustrated, 12mo, Cloth 
Price per Volume^ 50 Cents 














X. "HAUL IN" 76 

























"What devilment has old Bill got on for tonight, 

The speaker was seated on an old scarred sea 
chest in a dimly lighted forecastle. 

"I dunno," replied Pete, "maybe he's lookin' fer a 

"I hearn the mate say somethin' about a passel of 
four boys," put in a third man who was laying back 
in his bunk, "that the skipper was a-lookin' for." 

"Kidnapping, eh?" said Cales, the first speaker. 
"Hold 'em for ransom, I suppose. Well, the old 
man has been in worse games than that. I reckon 
the kids' parents are rich and are willin' to pay a 
high price for their darlings." 

"You're on the wrong tack, matey," said the man 


in the bunk. "Cap'n Brinks, who landed in San 
Diego from a Mexican port put the old man wise. 
He told him that those fellars had considerable 
money and a raft of jewels with 'em that they 
picked up in Mexico." 

"Ho, Ho, that's the game, is it," cried Cales, 
thumping his knee with a gnarled fist, "that ought to 
be easy then." 

"Looks so, but it ain't," replied the other, "those 
four boys have got somethin' of a reputation in the 
southwest. Hard fighters and good shots and their 
leader is a husky lad and about as crafty as a red 

"He ain't met the Old Man yet," said Cales sig- 

"I don't see where you get all your news from, 
Jake," growled Pete from his seat on the chest, 
"you ought to be a reporter." 

"I keep my eyes open and my mouth shet," re- 
plied Jake, "any man can get larned if he will do 

"I'd like to have a picter of you with your mouth 
shet," remarked Pete. "It's open even when you 
are asleep." He dodged just in time to avoid a 
heavy shoe flung from Jake's ready hand that 
crashed against the wall. 

"Don't do that agin," he warned, a red light 


showing in his eyes. "I'll lam you boys that I 
ain't as old as I looks to be." 

Jake laughed harshly. 

"You mustn't keep your own mouth open so wide, 
Pop, cause you'll have to swallow your own words 
if you do." 

"I guess I'll never git choked," replied Pete, 
truculently. "Kin you tell me what the skipper 
means snooping down this coast with no lights 
showing when it's plumb dark? We are liable to 
sink ourselves or Californey all of a suddint." 

"Why don't you ask the Cap'n what he is up to?" 
inquired Cales, "that is, if you want some real use- 
ful information, Pop." 

Pop raised himself up and glared at the speaker. 

"I ain't done living," he replied. 

"We are navigating pretty careful," remarked 
Jake. "You can hardly feel the Sea Eagle moving." 

"Running for the cove, I reckon," suggested 
Cales, "I'm mighty pleased not to be the man at the 
wheel. Well, I'm goin' to turn in for a snooze." 

In a brief time the two men were snoring loudly, 
while old Pete sat smoking his pipe, as stolid as a 
wooden Indian and the forecastle was fogged with 
the smoke, through which the swinging lantern 
shone dimly. The air is stifling so let us go up on 
deck where we can breathe the salt ozone and inci- 


dentally get acquainted with Captain Bill Broom, 
who is to occupy such a prominent place in this 

He is well worth meeting, not only as the opponent 
of our old friend, Jim Darlington, but because of 
his own unworthy but interesting character. In 
those days Skipper Bill Broom was known all up 
and down the coast and beyond. His fame, such 
as it was, comes down even to this recent day. 

On deck it is muffling dark, with the stars 
obscured in some dim way by mist or fog. There 
is a breeze blowing steadily from the broad wastes 
of the ocean. The bulk of the California coast 
looms dimly on the port bow. Not more than a 
half mile distant can be seen the white rushing 
forward of the breakers towards the rocky coast. 

Dangerous work this, navigating the Sea Eagle 
through the thick gloom of the night but the old 
man knew his business. He was on the bridge 
pacing back and forth like some strange animal and 
giving hoarse directions to the man at the wheel. 
He knew every inch of that coast, the sunken reefs 
and dangerous rocks. 

"Starboard your helm," he growled. 

The sailor spun the wheel obediently. And the 
captain resumed his pacing back and forth upon the 
bridge. Not much could be seen of him, except 


that he was a powerful man, with a peculiar crouch- 
ing stoop, as if he and the sea were engaged in a 
mysterious game. One striving to get a dangerous 
death-hold upon the other, both wary and using 
unceasing watchfulness. 

There was a strange softness in Captain Broom's 
tread like that of a padding panther, but his arms 
had the loose forward powerful swing of a go- 
rilla's. Once he stepped into the chart house to 
look at something and the light of the lamp will 
give us a square look at him. 

"That man a pirate!" you exclaim at the first 
glance; one who carried the blackest name along 
the coast as a smuggler and wrecker, who had 
brought cargoes of wretched slaves from Africa in 
the days before the Civil War and who had had 
more marvelous escapes than any man in the his- 
tory of piracy with the exception of Black Jack 
Morgan ! Impossible ! 

"Why that man is nothing but an old farmer," 
you exclaim in disappointment, when you see him. 
"He ought to be peddling vegetables on market 
day." But just wait. 

True, Skipper Broom had come from a long line 
of New England farmers, hard, close-fisted, close- 
mouthed men. Young Broom had broken away from 
the farm and followed his bent for sea-faring, but 


to the end of his days, he kept his farmerlike ap- 
pearance and he affected many of the traits of the 
yeoman which he found to be on more than one oc- 
casion a most useful disguise. 

Let's look at him. That heavy winter cap pulkd 
down on his grizzled head gives him a most "Reu- 
ben" like appearance. Jeans pants are thrust into 
heavy cowhide boots. The deadly gray eyes soft 
as granite have become red rimmed from fits of 
fury and hard through many scenes of coldly cal- 
culated cruelty. A most dangerous customer and 
I for one, and I ought to know, consider that he 
will have the better of Jim Darlington in their ap- 
proaching encounter and yet Jim is never beaten 
until the last shot is fired and so it is impossible for 
me to foretell how this contest of wit and daring 
will come out. 

After examining his chart closely, Captain Broom 
crouched out through the door and on to the deck. 
He took one keen look towards the shore, then he 
approached the helmsman. "Git below, Bill. I'll 
fetch her in." 

The helmsman relinquished the wheel gladly 
enough and under the Captain's masterful hand the 
Sea Eagle swung slowly around and pointed 
in towards the curving shore. 

The dark form of the mate could be seen on the 


deck below waiting for the order that he knew must 
come soon. The crew of the Sea Eagle though 
subordinate enough were necessarily partners in 
Captain Broom's wicked enterprises so that the 
discipline was somewhat different, than in ordinary 

"Call 'em up, Mr. Haffen," roared the skipper to 
the mate. "It's chore time." 

"Aye, aye, sir," replied Mr. Haffen. 

The watch was called on deck and the dark forms 
of the men could be seen in the bow. The pulsing 
of the Sea Eagle had stopped and with scarcely a 
sound the anchor was dropped into the water. 



The starboard boat was lowered into the water, 
First the mate, then Captain Broom and two men 
got in. The latter were Cales and Pete who pulled 
noiselessly at the oars. The boat glided quietly 
through the silent darkness towards the shore. 
The Captain was seated in the stern, his great bulk 
crouched forward, but there was nothing inert in 
his posture. His big hands clasped either side of 
the craft. 

In a few minutes the boat grounded softly on 
the sand of the beach and all hands got ashore. 
Scarcely a word was spoken, though the cove was 
so hidden that there seemed to be no possible chance 
that the landing of the free-booters would be ob- 
served. However, Captain Bill Broom took no 
risk of being discovered. He had many enemies 
upon the coast and inland as well. Besides, the 
State of California had set a price upon his head. 

Two thousand dollars was the reward for his 


capture, and so profitable an investment was apt to 
be realized on sooner or later by some enterprising 
citizen. So Captain Broom took due care when- 
ever he went abroad not to attract undue attention. 

This cove was a favorite lurking place of his 
when close pressed, where he would take refuge 
after some daring adventure upon the high seas, un- 
til such a time as the hubbub along the coast had 
died down. Sometimes he lay in hiding there, with 
the Sea Eagle screened behind the encircling cliffs, 
waiting like a black spider to rush out and capture 
some unsuspecting craft. 

"Pick her up, boys," said the Captain, "y u know 
where she belongs," pointing to the boat. 

Aye, aye, sir," they replied, and putting it on 
their shoulders they carried the boat along a narrow 
path that divided the thick undergrowth ; until, after 
going several hundred yards, they reached a thick 
screen of brush through which they shoved, and 
came to a cave. 

Although so well hidden, the entrance to the 
cavern was quite high, so that the men gained ad- 
mission without stooping, and going a short dis- 
tance into the dark interior, they placed the boat 
gently down against the wall. There was a constant 


and heavy drip of water, so that there was no 
chance for the boat to warp, as it would have surely 
done if placed outside in the dry California air. 

"I don't like this yere .cave," remarked Pete, 
when left alone with Cales. 

"What's the matter with it? It's dark and damp, 
but that is the nature of caves." 

"It makes me feel creepy, that's all," replied Pete, 
"and it takes considerable to do that." 

"Whatever happened?" inquired Cales, grinning, 
something terrible, I reckon, to make your thick 
hide chilly." 

"It were before your time," replied Pete some- 
what reluctantly, "we raided a ranch back thar 
agin the mountings. Senor Sebastian owned it 
and it was said that he could ride all day and never 
git off his place, and that he had more sheep and 
cattle than thar is folks in Frisco." 

"The Captain shanghied him, I reckon," cut in 

"You hold your windlass," commanded the old 
man in a querulous tone, "I'm telling this yarn." 

" All right, Pop," said Cales in a conciliating 
manner, "have it yer own way." He was really 
anxious to hear the story the old man had referred 

"Young fry is always flapping," the older speaker 


mumbled, then he took up the course of his narra- 
tive. "Waal, as I was telling ye, this Senor had 
lots of money and the Cap'n being short of funds 
thought that he could use some of it. So one night 
we ran into the cove, it was blacker even than this. 
I don't see how the old man ever got the craft past 
the sharks' teeth at the entrance but he did." 

He could have brought her in with his eyes 
shut," declared Cales. "I never have seen his equal 
for navigating." 

"Waal, we made camp here that night, and the 
next day, the Cap'n with some of the gang, left for 
the ranch and I stayed to look after things. Noth- 
ing happened that day, and I was dozing by the fire 
about midnight when I heard them coming back. 
They had the Senor, a fine-looking old man with a 
gray mustache and as cold and proud-looking as 
they make them. 

"The Cap'n was furious because he had not been 
able to lay his hand on the coin, and he swore that 
he would make the old Senor tell where his money 
was or there would be trouble. He took him into 
this cave and I don't know what happened there, 
and I don't want to know. All I'm sure of is that 
I never saw him come out. 

"The Cap'n sent me to the ship to get some 
chains on the second day and he took 'em into the 


cave. We sailed a couple of days later, but not a 
sign did I see of the Senor. That's why this cave 
makes me creepy, Cales." 

They, were standing near the entrance, when there 
came a distinct low moan from the interior. It 
was not a ghostly sound, either. There was no 
mistaking it. 

"Did you hear that, Cales?" asked old Pete in a 
quavering voice. 

"Yes," replied Cales, "I heard it all right. It 
can't be the Senor ?" 

"No," replied Pete. "He has been dead these 

"Let's find out," said his comrade. 

"There's nothing in this world could make me go 
in thar," declared Pete solemnly, "besides, it's agin 
the Captain's orders. 

"Well, I'm going," said Cales either more brave 
or less experienced than the other. "It sounds to 
me like a woman's voice." 

"And I'm goin' to git," declared old Pete, totter- 
ing towards the path. 

"You're a brave old pirate," said Cales contempt- 
uously, and with that he went slowly back into the 
cave. He had to go cautiously, for beyond a cer- 
tain point he was not acquainted with the in- 
terior. He could feel the moist ground under foot 


and he kept 'his hand stretched out, not knowing 
what he might run against in the dense damp dark- 

Then, suddenly, his hand struck a stone wall. 
Groping his way, he turned a sharp corner and fol- 
lowed along a low narrow passageway that obliged 
him to stoop. Then came the sound of the moan- 
ing just ahead. Jack Cales was a brave man but 
it was all that he could do, to keep from turning 
and running in panic for the mouth of the cave. 
But though his determination had received a severe 
shock, it did not turn to flight. 

He saw a faint light ahead, spreading a glow at 
the end of the passage as he came nearer. Then he 
saw something that held him stone still with a 
clutch of weird fear. He had reached the end of 
the narrow passage, and dimly made out a domed 
room in the rock, white with translucent encrusta- 

He struck a match. About him, before, to the 
right and to the left he could see forms all of 
ghostly white, some crouching, others standing. 
Hardly had the light flared up than it sizzled out. 
Some drops of water falling from the roof had ex- 
tinguished the blaze. Then was repeated that 
awful sound of distress. 

Cales groped around almost in a frenzy of terror. 

Where was the exit from that awful room ? Round 
and round he went, and all the time there were 
strange whisperings in his ears, and unseen hands 
seemed to clutch his clothes. Once he slipped and 
was trembling so that he was hardly able to get to 
his feet. Just as he did so, something swept past 
him like a breath of wind. Rendered desperate he 
made another dash, and this time if he had not 
found a passageway, he felt that he could have 
knocked a hole through the wall. Then he stood 
at the mouth of the cave. 



Just at that moment was heard the hoarse voice 
of Captain Broom booming through the darkness 

As Cales turned about, some furry animal sprang 
past him dashing between his legs and nearly up- 
setting him. 

"On deck, you scoundrel, come out of there," 
called the Captain. 

"Aye, aye, sir," came the reply of Cales in a 
strangely weak tone, though he was now more con- 
cerned by the possible penalty to be meted out by 
the Captain for disobedience of orders, than by 
thought of the undetermined occupants of the cave. 
If it were a cat it was certainly a good joke on old 
Pete. This was, had they but known it, the swift 
solution of the mystery. 

Oddly enough the Captain said not another word, 

a fact suggestive to Cales that there was something 

amiss in the cave and the little company at once 

took up their line of march. Captain Broom was 



in the lead, followed by the mate, then Cales, with 
old Pete bringing up the rear. Just as they started 
Captain Broom extinguished the lantern and they 
took up the trail in total darkness. Every precau- 
tion would now be necessary for they would soon 
be in a region where the very name of Broom was 
execrated with bitter hatred, and every bush would 
grow a poniard if his whereabouts were known. 

It was evident that the skipper was as good a 
guide on land as he was a pilot at sea, for he led 
his little party at a steady gait by a winding cow- 
path through the thick undergrowth. He doubtless 
knew this region thoroughly, for he had made 
more than one raid in this locality. 

It was soon to be determined, however, that they 
were not the only ones abroad that night. 

They had walked in silence for some time, well 
on to two hours, when they came to an open space, 
with the irregular form of a live oak on the south- 
east corner. Then Captain Broom stopped sud- 
denly, his keen eyesight which no darkness could 
baffle had discerned some object moving out from 
the shelter of the oak tree. 

It came slowly with uplifted black arms and 
white hair falling around its face. There was a 
terrible intensity in its advance across the open 


space, withal that it moved so slowly. The figure 
stopped directly in front of Captain Broom. 

"Get out of my way, you hag," he roared, but for 
the first time in his life a certain tremor crept into 
his voice. Perhaps he was growing old. He drew 
back his arm as though to strike the woman in his 

As he did so Jack Cales stooped and picked up a 
round rock at his feet, intending to hurl it, not at 
the woman but at the skipper, for he alone of the 
party divined the possible cause of this poor 
woman's dementia. But his interference was not 
necessary for it seemed as though the Captain's 
arm was paralyzed. He declared afterwards that 
some invisible hand had seized his arm. 

Then, in a loud, wailing voice the woman put a 
curse upon the slayer of her husband, for this spec- 
tre was none other than the Senora Sebastian. It 
was terrible to hear her and it must have sent a 
shiver into the soul of the hardy skipper. 

When she had finished, the woman moved past 
them and vanished in the direction of the ranch. 
For a full minute the line of men stood without 
moving a step and in absolute silence, Captain 
Broom with his arm upraised as he had lifted it to 

Then, without saying a word, he took the first 


forward step and the others followed him through 
the darkness. 

"Say, Cales," growled Pete in a low voice, "what 
was it you found in that cave ? My old timbers are 
shaking yet." 

"Keep your old jaws shut," yelled the Captain, 
who had wonderfully keen hearing, when anything 
was spoken that concerned him. 

"How do you suppose the old man heard me?" 
mumbled Pete to himself. He dropped back a pace 
or two, then whispered, "The old man must be crazy. 
He is making direct for the Sebastian ranch." 

"Do you reckon that these four boys he is look- 
ing after, are located there ?" asked Jack. 

"I dunno," replied Pete, "you can calkerlate on 
one thing though and that is that the skipper knows 
pretty nigh where those lads are. One of his mes- 
sengers, a one-eyed, twisted greaser, came aboard 
the other day, and was gabbling in the Captain's 
cabin. Then the next thing I knew we was under 
sail, and came kiting down to the cove." 

Just then the party halted at the confines of a four 
strand barbed wire fence. This was the first indica- 
tion that they were entering the great ranch prop- 
erty that formerly belonged to the Senor Sebas- 
tian, the elderly man the Captain had made captive, 
and which was now the property of his only son. 


"Now, lads," said the leader of the expedition, 
"Here's a chance to make yourself small. This yere 
barb is like a devil fish if it once gits a holt of your 
panties it won't let go." 

"That's so, Captain," said the mate, a generally 
silent and saturnine man. 

"I reckon you know, mate," said the Captain. 
"The last time we was through these parts, and that 
some considerable years ago, this same fence got 
a holt of yer pants and wouldn't let go. I never 
heard you talk so much and so earnestly in my life 
before. You want to be more keerful this time." 

The mate simply grunted by way of reply and, 
lying close to the ground, he very gingerly and 
carefully worked his way under the wire and thus 
escaped his mentioned former unpleasant detention. 
He then held the lower wire up as high as he 
could until his chief had wiggled under. 

Pete was the only one of the party who was seri- 
ously detained, for Jack Cales had slid under as 
slick as an eel. But Pete's joints were old and 
rusty and the venomous wire got a clutch on his 
coat and his pants. 

"What's keeping you back?" inquired the Cap- 
tain, gruffly, as Cales and his comrade did not put 
in an immediate appearance. 

"Pete has got caught, sir," said Jack. 


"What are you doing there, you old barnacle?" 
inquired the Captain as he came back to the fence. 

There was a certain odd comradeship between the 
skipper and the old salt who had been with him 
sine* his African days. Both were New Eng- 
landers and had come from neighboring homesteads. 

"Just resting, sir," replied the captive. 

It certainly did have something of that appear- 
ance, for Pete had kept a decisive grip on his old 
black pipe with his stubby teeth and was puffing at 
it in apparent peace and resignation. 

"Want me to git you a piller?" inquired the 
skipper, sarcastically. 

"Thank ye, sir," replied Pete imperturbably. 

Meanwhile the mate had been at work with deft 
fingers and he finally succeeded in extricating the 
old man and putting him upon his pins. 

"Now if ye are sufficiently rested," proposed the 
skipper, "we will hike along." 

This they did. Their way now lay between two 
stretches of fence that enclosed a road not much 
traveled for there were only faint traces of wheels 
in the turf. It was probably not a public highway 
but belonged to the great ranch. 

Everything seemed smooth sailing now, as there 
was no more barbed wire to be immediately met but 
Pete soon made himself prominent again. He was 


rolling along with that gait peculiar to a sailor when 
aboard land, when he gave a sudden spring and 
clutched Cales convulsively in the back, giving that 
individual a big scare. 

"Dad burn it, boys. I've stepped on a rattler." 
An investigation was made very carefully and Cap- 
tain Broom quickly picked up a short piece of rope. 

"I'll rattle you," he cried, touching up the old 
man with the rope's end. 


They went along steadily through the darkness 
in an almost directly easterly direction. Being now 
clear of the brush they could make good time on the 
springy turf. 

"How far are we now from the ranch, Pete ?" in- 
quired Jack. 

"Too durn close to suit me," replied Pete. "I 
can't tell exactly for these ranches are as big as all 
outside creation, but I guess we must be as close as 
a mile to the buildings." 

"I reckon the Captain is going to walk up to the 
front door and ask for accommodations." 

"Wouldn't s'prise me a bit, if he done that," re- 
plied Pete querulously. "The old man ain't lacking 
in nerve. Back thar was the first time I ever seen 
him hang back in my long experience with him." 

"When the old lady was speaking her piece? 
Suppose I ask him how much he made when he 
captured the Senor," suggested Cales, who had re- 
covered his flippant humor. 


"I wouldn't git gay, lad," said old Pete, warn- 
ingly. "She is just as liable to haunt you in your 
black spells." 

"Don't have 'em, uncle," replied Cales. 

"You collect the material for 'em when you are 
young," said the old man wisely, "and they come 
out of your bones like rheumatiz when you git old." 

"Somebody is coming back of us," suddenly whis- 
pered Cales. 

"Take to cover, lads," ordered the skipper, who 
was as quick to hear as the younger man. The only 
cover was a high and thick growth of wild mustard 
growing alongside the fences. 

Quickly they stepped from the open road into the 
shelter of the tall mustard. They had not long to 
wait. There was the jingle of spurs and the thud 
of horses' feet walking slowly along. Next came 
the voices of men talking. 

"It is useless, Senor, to try and find her, I fear," 
replied one man to the other. 

"It seems so," replied the other sadly. "My 
mother always seems to be worse when the time of 
the year approaches that my father disappeared. 
In spite of all our care she will escape." 

They had now arrived at a point opposite where 
the free-booters were hidden. The man who had 
last spoken struck a light and lit a cigarette; the 


instantaneous glare showed the dark handsome face 
of the Spanish type. There was the high-peaked 
sombrero, the striking clothes, the intent face and 
then the light died suddenly out. 

"Ah, Manuel," said the young man to his com- 
panion, "if I could only once lay hands on that 
cursed Gringo," and he ground his teeth in fury, 
unable to express himself. 

"Humph, Gringo," grunted the Captain, disdain- 

"Did you hear anything, Senor?" asked Manuel. 


"I was sure I heard something," asserted his 
companion. They had reined in their horses and 
sat listening quietly for a few seconds. 

"It was probably nothing but a calf by the road- 
side," said the Senor. 

The other shook his head doubtfully, then they 
turned and rode on towards the rancho. 

When they were safely out of range, the party 
of pirates took up their line of march once more. 

"So the greaser took me for a calf," remarked 
Captain Broom. "If it had been you, Jack Cales, 
there might be some excuse fer such a mistake." 

"Aye, sir," replied Cales, glumly. 

"Getting kind of close to the ranch, ain't you, 
Cap'n ?" ventured old Pete. 


"I thought of leaving you there, Pete, while the 
rest of us corralled those kids. You are getting too 
old for these long tramps." 

No more remarks were heard coming from the 
direction of Pete, for he was not at all sure but 
that the Captain might, in a moment of irre- 
sponsible humor, do just as he threatened without 
regard to the consequences. 

After they had gone on for a mile from the 
point where the two men had overtaken them, Cap- 
tain Broom led his party away from the road in a 
southerly direction, once more undergoing the har- 
rowing experience of getting through the barbed 
wire fence. But this time Jack Cales was especially 
detailed by the Captain to get old Pete through so 
there would not be any unnecessary delay. 

It was evident that they were getting into a differ- 
ent section, a short time after they left the road, for 
they began going up and winding among little 
rocky hills. At last they came to a stopping place. 
They climbed up an elevation and sat on some rocks 
among a group of dark trees. 

"Now, lads, take it easy," said the Captain, "ye 
have had quite a footin' and when morning comes, 
there will be some more ahead and at a faster gait." 

"Gosh, Cap'n," declared old Pete, "It's the most 
walking we've done together since the time we cor- 


railed the last bunch of niggers on the west coast of 

"We certainly made money that trip when we sold 
that cargo of coons to the traders on that Palmetto 
Island below Charleston. But we will clean up 
about as much money when we round up those four 
boys and twice as easy. Tell the two lads about 
that trip, Pete." 

The old sailor sat on a rock, and taking out his 
bag of tobacco filled his short black pipe with one 
thorny thumb, then he commenced his narrative, 
with the glow of his pipe lighting up his weather- 
beaten face. 

"Well, orders is orders, and the Cap'n wants me 
to tell this yarn. I might just as well begin it, 
lads. I never knew any good to come to sailormen 
cruising around on dry land any more than on this 
trip." He cast a wary eye at Captain Broom, but 
that worthy merely grunted and Pete resumed his 

"Our clipper lay at anchor in a wide bay with 
only a couple of men on board and the Captain, 
myself and six men trailing inland for to find a 
village of naygurs that our guides had told us of. 

"It certainly was hot and steamy going through 
the jungles and every once in a while a big snake as 
large as my leg would crawl across our path and 


rustle away into the undergrowth. Once I felt one 
of 'em a-twistirig and rolling under my foot like a 
big log that had came to life. I guess I must have 
jumped twice as high as my own head and I lit on 
the back of one of the naygurs that was guiding us. 

"He didn't know what struck him; probably 
thought it was a tiger for I sunk my hooks into his 
hide. He let out a yell and went ripping and snort- 
ing through that jungle and me not having sense 
enough to let go, until a grape vine about as thick 
as a manilla rope chucked me under the chin and I 
fell flat on my back and I guess that naygur is still 

Here the captain who was evidently enjoying the 
narrative hugely, burst into a volcanic roar of 

"I can see yer yet, Pete, on that bounding buck 
of a nigger, and him a-hiking through the jungle 
and a-yelling like a wild Injun." 

"I remember you got out of the way mighty 
quick," said Pete, "when you heard us a-coming be- 
hind you." 

"It certainly was a curious spectacle," said the 
Captain, "but go on with your yarn, Pete." 

"The further we went into the jungle the worse 
it got. The mosquitoes fairly ate us alive and they 
wern't the only cannibals in those woods by any 


means. There was a tribe of man-eaters beyond the 
Big River and we didn't try to capture any of them. 
They wern't our stripe of bacon. 

"We went on for six days, with the monkeys chat- 
tering over our heads all day and the mosquitoes 
serenading us at night. Talk about birds, there 
was a whole menagerie of them and their colors 
beat the handkerchiefs that these greasers wear 
around their throats and you can't get ahead of that 
for color. 

"One night we got in range of the village we 
were after and there was a great pow-wow going 
on. There was a big fire in the circle of the grass 
huts and some big black bucks were doing a dance 
around it. Just then I saw " 

"Hold on, Pete," said the Captain in a low, gruff 
voice, "somebody is coming our way." 



"Hey, Jim, where are we going to make camp?" 
It was his brother Jo's genial voice. 

"Not until we can strike water," replied Jim. 
"No more dry camps for me." 

"I don't think much of the coast range, or the 
Sierras, either." It was Juarez Hoskins' well-re- 
membered voice, with its rather low, deep tones. 

"Give me the Rockies every time." 

Juarez was nothing if not loyal to his mountains. 

"I don't think any of the mountains are much to 
brag of." 

It is hardly necessary to say that it is Tom Dar- 
lington who is now speaking, for the discerning 
reader is pretty well acquainted with his style by 
this time. 

"There's always something to look out for," con- 
tinued Tom, "if it isn't Indians it's rattlesnakes, 
and you have got to choose between a cloudburst or 
no water at all. Give me the East every time." 

"You make me exhausted talking about the 


East," said Jim. "Why didn't you stay there when 
you were there? I had just as soon take a chance 
with a rattlesnake as with an ice cream soda." 

"Tom would like to play Indian," cut in Jo, 
"with turkey feathers sticking up from a red flannel 
band around his head. And creeping upon a flock 
of sheep pretending that they are antelope and that 
cows are real live bears." 

"Yes," said Jim, "you have lined it out all right, 
Jo. Then when they were tired of playing Injun, 
Tom and his little playmates could pretend that 
they were Daniel Boone's men with wildskin panties 

"Shut up, boys," said Juarez, coming to Tom's 
rescue. "What's the use in rubbing it in? The 
East is all right for some folks and if the boys back 
there can't have real adventures they have to do the 
best they can. After all, Jim, you are an Eastern 
boy. You can't get away from that." Jim writhed 
under the implication but replied good humoredly. 

"You're right, Juarez, old chap, but I can't help 
stirring up Tom once in a while. It is good for him 
too. It keeps his liver active, so he won't get 

"Juarez has got more sense than you two put to- 
gether," said Tom. 

"Forget all about it now, Tommy," urged Juarez 


good-naturedly, getting the aforesaid Tommy by 
the nape of the neck with one vigorous brown hand 
and giving him a shake. 

Thus under Juarez's straightforward manage- 
ment the family quarrel was abated. 

"We might just as well ride now, boys," said 
Jim. "The horses are good and rested and we will 
soon be going down grade instead of up." 

The horses had been following in single file back 
of the four boys. They were to be trusted not to 
cut up any shindigs or to wander from the narrow 
mountain trail. The boys had had them a long time 
and together they had gone through the numerous 
hardships and adventures. They were as perfectly 
trained as Uncle Sam's cavalry horses. 

The horses halted as the boys dropped back to 
their sides, and they swung into the saddle simul- 
taneously. Jim rode in the lead on a splendid gray, 
with a powerful arching neck, strong shoulders and 
hindquarters made for speed. Him, he called 
Caliente. Next rode Tom on a pretty bay. Then 
Jo on a black of medium size but finely built for 
speed and endurance. Juarez brought up the rear 
on his roan, a sinewy animal with a broncho strain 
in him which was liable to crop out at unexpected 

It is to be noticed that there was a certain forma- 


tion in the way the column rode. Jim, the strong and 
resourceful in front, and Tom, the less experienced 
and capable, following, forming the first division. 
The second division was composed of Jo and Juarez. 

Juarez having an equally important position with 
the leader, for he was rear guard, a more trying 
position sometimes than being in front for in their 
travels through dangerous regions, it was the man 
in the rear who was more apt to be cut off by the 
wily Indians. But the cool and crafty Juarez was 
not likely to be caught napping. 

Even now you notice as they ride along through 
the comparatively safe region of the coast range 
that Jim and Juarez are ever on the alert, glancing 
this way and that, halting to examine some peculiar 
mark on the trail, and not a motion of tree or 
bush upon either mountain slope escapes their 
attention. They had lived too long in the midst 
of treacherous enemies, Indians and outlaws, to be 
taken off their guard. They had been in Mexico 
on a venture the outcome of which was all their 
fondest dreams could wish for. Their expedition 
over, Tom was for going home, to at least deposit 
the treasure they had gained, but the others had 
outvoted him, and now the long pleasure trip to 
Hawaii was their object. 

Now, if they but had known it, they were riding 


to meet the most deadly danger that they had yet 
encountered. For as you know, Captain Broom 
and his party were advancing to meet them. In an 
open or running fight, we know perfectly well that 
the boys could take care of themselves, but in the 
skipper of the Sea Eagle, they were to meet a far 
more dangerous opponent than in Eagle Feather, 
described in "The Frontier Boys in Colorado" or 
Cal Jenkins in Kansas and in Mexico as detailed in 
"Overland Trail" and in "Mexico." In compliance 
with a determined plan, they were now on their way 
to Hawaii. 

Not only had Captain Broom the craftiness and 
cruelty of the Indian, but the cool, hard judgment 
of the New England Yankee, coupled with a knowl- 
edge of their possessions, supposedly limited to 
themselves alone. The Mexican spy, who had re- 
ported the route the boys were going to take, had 
given the game into his master's hands. 

"I wonder what has become of our one-eyed 
greaser friend," said Jim, "we haven't seen any 
sign of him since he gave us the shake a week ago 
at the hunting camp. I kind of thought we might 
run across him again." 

"It's good riddance to bad rubbish," said Juarez 
in a surly tone. "If I had my way I'd hang him to 
the first oak tree on general principles and on ac- 


count of his personal appearance. I bet he is a 
treacherous little rat." 

"He isn't very pretty, that's a fact," admitted Jim, 
"but he is a useful little beast about the camp and 
can do a lot of chores." 

"I kind of like to hear him play his guitar," put 
in Jo, "and sing those Mexican tunes. They cer- 
tainly sound pretty." 

"He's a picturesque beggar too," remarked Tom. 
"Just the kind that in the old days would have been 
made a king's jester. They dressed 'em up in a 
blazing bright style then. That hump would have 
made his fortune." 

Tom, as you remember, was an authority on 
Romance, and as pertaining to which he always 
carried two favorite volumes, much worn by hard 
travel and frequent usage, but which no amount of 
ridicule by his brothers could make him give up. 

"Have it your own way," acceded Juarez, "but 
he is not the sort of animal that I would recommend 
for a household pet." 

"Well, he is gone," said Jim, "so we don't need 
to worry about him." 

"I don't know but that I would a little rather have 
him in sight," said Juarez. "Then you know where 
he is." 

Jim laughed good-naturedly at the prejudice that 


Juarez showed against the little greaser and put it 
down to his darkly suspicious nature acquired by his 
life among the Indians. It would have been better 
if Jim had taken more stock in his comrade's sus- 
picions. Now, Jim was not to be caught napping 
when once an enemy had declared himself, but it 
was his nature to be open-minded and unsuspicious. 

The four Frontier Boys were riding up a winding 
trail through a narrow mountain valley, having 
reached a point almost level with the summits, 
which rose several thousand feet above the eastern 
plain. It had been a hard, all day climb, and the 
horses were tired and the gray dust was caked upon 
their sweaty riders. 

Let us take a look at our old acquaintances, Jim, 
Tom, Jo and Juarez, to see if they have changed 
any since we saw them last. They are dressed 
about as we have always known them. In gray 
flannel shirts and pants of the same color, moccasins 
on their feet and on their heads battered sombreros 
with the flaps turned back. 

Their coats are tied back of the saddles, and their 
shirts open at the throat for the air is hot and dry 
in that California mountain valley. Their rifles are 
swung across their shoulders held by straps, re- 
volvers in the holsters at their hips. 

Jim sits in the saddle tall and sinewy, grown 


somewhat thinner by constant exercise and by the 
drying effect of the desert air. His skin is baked 
to an absolute brown. Juarez, too, is black as an 
Indian and he rather looks like one with his hair 
quite long and of a coarse black fibre. The boys 
look a little fine-drawn but sinewy and strong and 
#s for any adventure. 



The shadows were already falling on that side of 
the range as the boys rode slowly into a narrow 
pass. The shade was a decided relief from the 
glare of the California sun that they had encoun- 
tered all day. 

"Gosh, but I should like to have a cool breath 
from the Rockies," declared Juarez with emphasis, 
"This sort of a climate makes me tired. Nothing 
but the sun staring at you all the time. It goes 
down clear and comes up with the same kind of a 
grin on its face." 

"It will be cooler when we get on the other side," 
said Jim, encouragingly, "and it won't be long 

"I hope we will strike water on the other side," 
remarked Jo. "I'm tired of looking at that bald- 
headed stream down there," indicating the dry 
blistered bed of a former water-course. 

Nothing more was said until of a sudden they 


rode to the top of the Pass, and saw a new land- 
scape spread out before them. 

It was a broad and beautiful view, with the sun, 
striking the wide Pacific, with a blazing glare of 
silver and below the wooded slope of the mountains, 
stretched an apparently level plain, where roamed 
countless cattle, and innumerable sheep. It had all 
the breadth characteristic of the Californian land- 

"That's a pretty good looking view," remarked 
Jim admiringly. He would have been still more in- 
terested if he could have seen a trim-looking black 
vessel in a small cove directly west but a good many 
miles distant. 

"I wonder if it isn't going to rain," said Tom. 
"See those clouds rolling in over the ocean." 

"Rain!" ejaculated Jim with superior wisdom, 
a wisdom that appertains particularly to older 
brothers, "I guess not. Those are fog clouds. 
That's a sure sign in this country that it won't 

"Well, I'm glad to see them, anyway," said 
Juarez. "It looks sort of stormy even if it isn't." 

It was restful, there was no question about that, 
the change from the constant glare of a white sun 
in a blue sky, to the soft damp grayness of the fog. 
It was already rolling over the level plain towards 


the mountains and, in a short time, a high fog was 
spread over the whole sky. 

The boys had ridden down the western side of 
the range for a distance of a half mile, when Jim 
suddenly waved his hand backward in a sign of cau- 
tion for the column to halt. He leaned forward, 
looking intently in a northwesterly direction to a 
point on the opposite side of the mountain valley. 
Juarez followed the direction of the leader's look 
with a keen gaze. 

"I was sure that I saw some one slipping through 
the undergrowth on the opposite side over there," 
Jim finally said, "but I could not make sure whether 
it was a man or some sort of animal." 

"I noticed the bushes shaking," said Juarez, "but 
I did not see anything." 

"Might have been a brown bear," hazarded Jo. 

"They do have them in this range," put in Tom. 

"Perhaps it is the bear that we hunted for two 
days on the other slope," said Juarez, "and he has 
come to give himself up," 

"We had better keep our eyes open," advised 
Jim, though he did not take the trouble to unsling 
his rifle. "Jo, you and Tom watch the upper side, 
Juarez will take care of the trail in front." 

"All right, boss," said Juarez, cheerfully. 


"How much reward, captain, for the first glimpse 
of the lost child ?" inquired Jo. 

Jim paid no attention to this sally, but kept his 
eye on the trail ahead. The trees were quite thick 
on either side of the trail and as dusk was coming 
on, it was difficult to make out any object clearly. 

Just as Jim rode around a turn in the trail, 
Caliente reared and leaped to one side and a less 
skillful rider would have been thrown. 

"Easy, old boy," said the rider, patting his horse's 
neck. Caliente stood trembling and snorting and 
watching a curious object that was struggling up 
the bank towards the trail. 

It was hard to tell what it was, whether man or 
beast and the dusk only served to make it more ob- 
scure. Then the object scrambled up on to the 
trail and Jim at once recognized the dwarf Mexi- 
can with his high-crowned sombrero and his velvet 
suit richly slashed. With his crooked back and one 
eye, he was anything but a prepossessing-looking 
creature. Caliente, when he, too, recognized who 
it was, put back his ears and rushed with bared 
teeth for the Mexican. 

Spitting out a curse, the greaser jumped to one 
side with a marked agility, and Jim succeeded after 
a struggle in bringing his furious steed to terms, 


but he had his hands full and there were not very 
many men who could manage Caliente when he got 
into one of his rages. 

"Hi! Manuel," (every Mexican was Manuel to 
the boys), cried Jim, "look out for my Tiger, he 
wants to eat that velvet suit of yours." 

"Si, Senor," called Manuel from a safe station 
on a granite rock. "He is a tiger as your Honor 

One would have expected to hear the crooked 
little greaser speak in a harsh croaking voice, but 
instead it had a rich sonorous quality. 

"Do you know where there is any water in this 
country?" asked Jo. "We are as dry as a desert." 

"Certainly, Senor, I will show you," replied 
Manuel. (It was true that Manuel spoke in Span- 
ish of which language the boys had a working 
knowledge, due to their sojouin in the southwest. 
But I shall put his words in English.) "Where is. 
Senor Juarez ?" inquired the dwarf. "I do not see 

The Senor is still with us," replied Jim, gravely, 
"but you cannot see him on account of the dusk, 
but you might hear him," he added in a lower 

It was true that Juarez was growling to hims^LP 
about me greaser lor wnom you Know nc naa a cor- 


dial antipathy, a feeling which was reciprocated by 
the Mexican. 

"Lead on, Manuel," urged Jim, "we want to 
make camp before morning." 

"But, Senor, the tiger will eat me up," objected 
the Mexican. 

"I will take care of Caliente. He won't bite you. 
Go ahead." 

"Si, Senor," assented Manuel. 

Then he jumped down from the rock and took 
the trail at a discreet distance ahead of Jim's 
horse, who was held in check by his rider though his 
temper seemed in no wise abated. There was 
something sinister in the figure of the Mexican as 
he led the way down the trail. 

All in black, except the gray of his hat with its 
golden cord and the tinsel of his clothes. There 
was something malignant in his make-up and even 
the unimaginative Jim was affected by the presence 
of the Mexican, while Juarez was very uneasy, and 
asked Jo and Tom to allow him to move up next 
to the Captain. This they did, though it left Jo as 
rear guard on that rocky trail. 

He seemed quite isolated but he had become suffi- 
ciently enured to danger and though he kept a 
wary eye, he was not nervous. The boys had un- 
holstered their pistols and Juarez kept a straight 


eye on the moving shadow in the darkness ahead. 
At the first sign of attack or treachery, he was 
going to get that particular Manuel. 

"I've got my eye on the little varmint," said 
Juarez in a low voice to Jim. "He may be leading 
us into an ambush." 

"Oh, I guess not," said Jim, with a note of hesita- 
tion in his voice. "We have got to find water any- 
way. The horses are suffering for it, and this 
beggar can show us where we can locate it." 

Just then Manuel threw up his hand with a shrill 
whistle that had every malignant intention in it. 
Juarez raised his pistol just ready to fire, when 
the Mexican laughed shrilly. 

"Senor Juarez very nervous. I just stretch and 
whistle a little and he want to shoot." 

A peculiar srtiile came over Juarez's face, but he 
said nothing. All the stolid Indian in his nature 
came to the surface. He merely grunted con- 
temptuously at the Mexican's remark and this made 
the volatile Manuel uneasy in his turn, for he 
wanted to realize that his malice had struck home, 
but Juarez did not give him that satisfaction. 
There was a sort of hidden duel between these two, 
the subtle Mexican and the crafty Indian nature of 
Juarez. It remained to be seen who would win. 

The four Frontier Boys went silently along down 


the dark canyon, each one occupied with his own 
thoughts and the ill-omened Mexican guide in the 
lead. Juarez kept a sharp lookout on either side 
of the trail expecting an ambush. His horse seemed 
to feel something of the strain his rider was under, 
as a horse will. Once he shied at something he saw 
in a clump of bushes, and nearly went off the trail. 
It was only with the aid of Juarez's horsemanship 
that he clawed his way back to safety. The Mexi- 
can was much amused at this incident, and Jim 
gave him a sharp call down. 



We must now return to Captain Broom and his 
escort, whom we left sitting on a hill covered with 
trees near the Sebastian rancho. Old Pete's story 
had been interrupted by the skipper's warning, 
"Somebody is coming our way." 

There was no question about that, they could 
hear the someone coming towards the hill whistling 
cheerfully. Then the form of a man could be seen, 
coming up the slope of the elevation. 

"I wonder where those altogether blessed cows 
are," he was heard saying in Spanish, but of course, 
this is a free and not a literal translation. 

"They are generally hiding under these trees," 
he continued. The sailors kept absolutely still and 
old Pete covered the bowl of his pipe with his hand 
so that its light might not discover them. 

"Carambe!" cried the Mexican as he stopped 
about three feet from the recumbent Captain, "I 
fear my good master's cows have been smoking, 


not like nice Mexican cows, a cigarette, but a pipe 
like a vile gringo. Come, get up, you black 
brute," noticing the big bulk of the Captain for the 
first time, and he hauled off and gave the skipper a 
hearty kick on the haunch. 

Never was there a more surprised greaser in the 
whole ungainly length of California for this appar- 
ently gentle cow that he kicked, (not for the first 
time either) suddenly turned and grabbed him with 
a powerful hand before he could yell, though he 
was so frightened that he probably could not utter 
a squeak. Another hand got him by the throat. 

"Take me for a cow, did you, you bespangled 
Manuello?" roared the Captain, and he waved the 
aforesaid Manueilo about in his great grip as 
though he had been a rag. 

"No use killing the beggar, Captain," said the 
mate. "Maybe he can tell us something." The 
Captain let the Mexican drop and he lay on the 
ground perfectly inert. 

"He won't be able to say much right away," said 
the Skipper. 

It was now getting light, the first signs of dawn 
showing above the mountains. As the darkness 
was drawn away, they could see their position more 
clearly and there came the sounds of the morning 
from the direction of the ranch houses. The bark- 


ing of dogs, the crowing of roosters, and the call 
of human voices. 

"I guess, lads, it's about time for us to have 
something to eat," said the Captain, "because we 
have got to do some tall climbing today and I want 
to get an early start." 

An expression of disgust showed itself on old 
Pete's face at the idea of more walking, which the 
Captain was quick to note. 

"How would you like to stay here, Old Bones, 
and look after Manuello?" said the skipper. But 
Pete shook his head. 

"I'll stay by the ship, Cap'n," said the old fellow 

"Durn my buttons," said the Captain, whose 
oaths were as mild as his actions were vicious, 
"if you ain't a good old barnacle, Pete. I 
wouldn't think of leaving you in such company as 
this," and he gave the prostrate Mexican a shove 
with his foot. Manuello looked up at the Captain 
with an evil eye and a muttered curse. 

This roused the fury of Captain Broom and he 
held him off from the ground as if he had been 
a rat, his jaws working ominously and a look in his 
eyes that made the Mexican shrivel. 

Nothing was said, not even by the Skipper, and 
the others watched him fascinated as he glared at 


his victim, and even the iron composure of the 
saturnine mate seemed to be moved partially aside. 
The Mexican began to whimper and moan as his 
eyes shifted to avoid the terrible ones of the Cap- 
tain. He was not suffering any special violence, 
but a strange tremor filled the soul of the Mexican, 
in the grip of the grizzled giant. 

As the greaser began to cry, the Captain gave a 
roar of laughter and threw him aside upon the 
ground, about all the humanity he had shriveled 
out of him. He lay there absolutely without any 
power of motion in his body. 

Just then the crew of the Sea Eagle became 
aware of the fact that a horned animal with big 
brown eyes was looking at them. All the farmer 
in the nature of Captain Broom came to the sur- 

"By Gum," he exclaimed, "if here ain't a bovine 
cow looking at us. I ain't milked one for forty 
years, but I'm not afeard to try. 'Member, Pete, 
when we used to milk the cows back in old Connec- 
ticut on the farm. After working in the hay all 
day, I'd go down in the side hill pasture, that was 
so steep that you had to hold on with your toes and 
your teeth to keep from sliding down to the 

"You bring it back to me just like it was a liv- 


ing picture," said Pete, his hard face softening un- 
der the gentle showers of memory. 

"Then I'd drive the black and white one that 
was breechy, and the red mooley, the yaller and 
white that gave the richest milk. I'd drive them 
into the stanchions in the old barn, with the ground 
floor stoned up on the side, where it was sunk into 
the hill." 

"But it was winter, Cap'n," said Pete, "that it was 
interesting doing the chores," and he blew remi- 
niscently on his fingers, "snow two feet on the level 
and the sun a piece of blue ice in the sky. A con- 
demned sight better place than Californey, where 
you don't feel no more alive than a enbalmed 

The Captain began now a series of manoeuvres to 
get within range of one of the cows so that they 
might have fresh milk for breakfast. He managed 
it finally, and he certainly looked like a peaceful 
old farmer as with his gray head against a fat red 
cow's flank, he milked into a large tin cup. Pete se- 
lected a black mooley and soothed by the man's 
persuasive manner, she consented finally to give 
down a thin blue stream. But the saturnine mate 
was less successful as he knew much more about 
navigating a ship than he did about cows. 

Finally after much awkward manoeuvring, he got 


a cow cornered and began operations upon the left 
side with the result that the cow landed upon him 
with her hoof and sent him sprawling on his back 
to the great delight of the Captain. 

"Hurt bad, Bill?" inquired the Skipper with mock 
sympathy, "I'm afeard that you will never make a 

"I never calkerlated to," replied the mate. "It 
ain't my line of business." 

"Don't tell me that," said the Captain, "I can see 
that for myself. Come up here and I'll give you a 

They had scarcely finished their simple breakfast 
when Jack Cales gave a sudden alarm. 

"Cap'n," he cried, "I see two men legging it our 
way. They are making straight for the hill." 

"I guess they are coming to see why Manuello 
doesn't show up with the cows," remarked the Cap- 
tain, "we don't want to stir up this hen roost as 
we've got other chicken to fry. So we'll git." 

"Take the greaser?" inquired Jack. 

"You and the mate fetch him," said the Captain. 

Just as the two men were mounting the hill, the 
Captain and his crew made a swift sneak down the 
opposite slope, and were soon making their way 
through the bush towards the foot-hills. In a min- 
ute they heard the cries of the two men as they 


drove the herd of cows towards the home ranch for 
the morning milking. The sun had now risen 
above the eastern range just in front of them and 
was blazing down upon the plain and the sea 
beyond. There was something exhilarating in the 
air in spite of the heat. 

"We don't need the company of that greaser any 
further," said Captain Broom, after they had made 
some headway up a canyon back of the ranch build- 
ings. So they took some rope grass, tough as 
manilla, and tied him firmly, and, after having 
gagged him, they left him to be found later by 
some of his countrymen. 

Then they toiled steadily up the trail of the 
canyon, until about noon they reached a pocket in 
the canyon where there was a pool of clear water 
fed by an invisible spring. Coming to meet them 
were four boys riding up the trail on the other 
side of the range. 



Under the guidance of the Mexican dwarf, the 
four boys came at last to a halt. It seemed as if 
the canyon down which they had been riding had 
come to an end for there was a wall of rock directly 
in front of them. 

"Down there, Senor, is a pool of clear water," 
announced the Mexican. 

"Glad to hear it, Manuel," said Jim heartily. 

"Did you ever see a picture, Jim," put in Juarez 
significantly, "of a pool where the thirsty animals 
have to come to drink and before they get their 
noses in the water the hunter shoots them?" 

But nothing of this dire nature happened and in 
a few minutes the famished animals were pump- 
ing the delicious water down their long, baked 

"My Gracious, but that tastes good !" cried Tom, 
drawing in a long, gasping breath, after he had 
been drinking steadily for about a minute. "It 

makes my head swim." 



"I should think it would," said Jo, sarcastically, 
"considering the amount you have drunk." 

"You weren't far behind," grumbled Tom. "I 
thought that you were not going to leave enough 
for the horses." 

"I don't especially like this place to camp in," 
said Jim. "We are not accustomed to get in a 
pocket like this. But it is too late to pull out to- 
night and the horses need a rest, so we will keep 

"Better drown the brown rat first," remarked 
Juarez to Jim. But the latter only shook his head 
and laughed. 

The camp was made about twenty feet east of 
the spring in a small grove of slender trees backed 
by a high wall of steep granite, down which poured 
a waterfall in the rainy season. 

The fire was built upon a flat rock in the centre 
of the grove where there was no danger of it catch- 
ing in the grass and bushes which were dry as tin- 
der. If once a mountain fire was started at the end 
of the dry season there would be no stopping it 
until it had devastated the whole country. 

The light of the fire showed the usual cheery and 
active scene that goes with making camp. How 
many times the Frontier Boys had gone through 
these preparations it is impossible to say. They 


had camped on the plains of Kansas, in the moun- 
tains of Colorado, on the Mesas of New Mexico, 
the banks of the Colorado river, and the Pampas 
of Mexico. Now we find them in the coast range 
of California. 

It was not an especially dangerous country in 
which they were camped, nothing to compare with 
parts of Colorado and Mexico, but never were they 
in greater danger than at the present moment and 
this camp promised to be their last together, except 
they had unusual luck. 

There was a traitor in the company, and even 
now four pairs of hostile eyes were watching them 
as they moved in the light of the fire. The Captain 
of the Sea Eagle and his three trusty men were 
hidden in some bushes at the top of the pocket on 
the western side. 

Juarez and Jim busied themselves first in looking 
after their horses. Removing the saddles they 
rubbed down each animal thoroughly, clear to the 
fetlocks and then gave them a good feed of grain. 
Jo and Tom were on the supper committee and busy- 
ing themselves making preparations for a square 
meal. Manuello, who had been with the boys on 
the other side of the range and was accustomed to. 
help in odd chores about camp, now offered to aid 
in getting the supper. 


"I will make the coffee with your permission, 
Senor Jo," he proposed. 

"Do you savvy it all right, Manuello?" inquired 

"Ah, yes, Senor. I can make such coffee as the 
Holy Father would be pleased to drink," he re- 
plied with fervor. 

"Not too strong because it keeps me awake," pro- 
tested Tom. 

"No, no, Senor Thomas," replied Manuello 
with a sweeping bow, "the coffee I make is very 
soothing. It will give you a long, soft sleep." 
There was an undertone of subtle irony that was 
entirely lost upon the two straightforward boys. 

"That's a good fellow, Manuello," said Jo, cor- 
dially, and he handed the coffee pot filled with 
water to the Mexican, who went about the prepara- 
tion of it with a deftness that showed that he knew 
what he was about. Not one of the boys saw him 
slip a white powder into the coffee pot. It quickly 
dissolved and the coffee began to bubble innocently 
enough under the eyes of the hunchback Manuello. 

Juarez and Jim just then came back from looking 
after the horses which were fastened near the wall 
of rock. As soon as Juarez saw the Mexican 
watching over the coffee pot, his eyes narrowed 
with suspicion. 


"Who made the coffee?" he asked Jo, bluntly. 

"Manuello," replied Jo. 

"The Senor will find the coffee truly delicious," 
said the hunchback with a bow, "only the Mexican 
knows how to keep its aroma when boiling it." 

"Humph," grunted Juarez, and he went deliber- 
ately to the fire and lifted the coffee pot off and 
poured its contents on the ground. 

"The American does not care for the aroma of 
your Mexican coffee," he said coolly. 

The Mexican merely gave a peculiar hitch to his 
shoulder, spat on the ground and turned away ap- 
parently mortally offended as he, no doubt, was. 
That part of his scheme had been blocked by the 
craftiness of Juarez, but the Captain might make 
good where his spy had failed. 

The Mexican sat back in the shadow on a rock 
smoking a cigarette, while the boys ate their 
supper of beans, meat, bread and coffee. He was 
the skeleton at the feast as it were, not only his 
malignant humor made itself felt, but there was a 
sense of depression that they could not shake off, 
try as they would. 

This was so unusual that they could not account 
for it. As a rule, they were jolly and even when 
danger was impending, they felt a certain confi- 
dence and assurance, but not so tonight. 


"What makes us feel so on the bum tonight, do 
you suppose?" asked Tom. 

"Maybe this canyon is haunted," proposed Jo, 
who had an imaginative streak in him. 

"I tell you the way I figure it," said Jim. "We 
are not used to camping in a hollow like this, for 
before this we have always selected a place that 
we could defend, and though there is no particular 
danger from outlaws or Indians in these mountains, 
we can't shake off our old habits." 

"I believe there is something in that," acquiesced 

"It's that rat over there," said Juarez loudly. 

The Mexican laughed coolly and insolently, and 
lighted another cigarette. This would have mad- 
dened an excitable person, but Juarez was in a 
stoical mood and he contented himself with fling- 
ing a bone that he had been gnawing at, carelessly 
over his shoulder, almost striking the Mexican in 
the face. 

This set that peppery individual wild and he tore 
around considerably, tearing his hair, stamping his 
feet and sputtering with maledictions at the insult 
that had been offered him. 

"I am no dog that you can throw a bone to." 
and he sizzled off into a string of unpleasant re- 


"Here you, Manuello," roared Jim, rising to his 
feet and standing over the Mexican, "not another 
yelp out of you." 

Manuello had a respect for this big American 
lad much as he despised his simplicity and he 
sobered down. Besides he had not finished his 
work for the night. He had failed to get the sleep- 
ing drug to the boys in the coffee and now he must 
be ready to help his master, Captain Broom of the 
Sea Eagle, in some other way. 

There was a person whom he feared and admired 
absolutely and he had been a most useful spy and 
agent for the Skipper in certain nefarious plots. 
It was well for the little hunchback that no one 
knew of his share in the betraying of old Juan Se- 
bastian some years before. 

"You will have the first watch, Jo," ordered Jim. 
"It is now nine o'clock. I will relieve you at 
eleven and stand guard until two. Juarez from 
two until five and Tom can have the short watch." 

According to this arrangement, Jim and Juarez 
would be on guard during the danger hours. 

How many times in the past had the boys stood 
guard over their camp. Was this to be the last 
guard? There were the old Kansas days, when 
they had to be on the watch against horse fhieves. 
Then came the dangerous crisis in their Colorado 


experiences, when they had to guard against the 
wiles of the Indians. And most exciting of all, 
perhaps, the night in old Mexico when they camped 
on the trail of the outlaws. I wonder if Jo, the 
first on duty, thought of these old times that night. 
Probably not, his mind being fully occupied with 
the business in hand. 



So the three boys rolled into their blankets with 
the saddles for pillows and dropped immediately to 
sleep as they were very tired from the long, hard 
ride. They lay at different points around the fire, 
which was allowed to die down as the fog seemed 
like a warm gray blanket over the whole landscape. 

Jo sat on a log by the slowly dying fire, with his 
rifle on his knees looking into the darkness and not 
far from him lay the Mexican a mere dark lump 
on the ground, apparently asleep, but keeping a 
wary eye on all around. Imperceptibly he crept 
nearer to where Jo was sitting, but he did not have 
the weapon he would have preferred in his hand, 
the stiletto, which was as natural to him as the 
fangs to a rattlesnake. 

But it did not suit the long-headed Captain 
Broom to have the boys killed. He wanted their 
life as well as their money, but in a different sense 
than the adage has it. From what he had heard of 
them, they were boys of unusual mettle and varied 


acquirements. If caught young, he could train 
them to good purpose. If they proved worthless, 
he would hold them for ransom. 

So Captain Broom had told Manuello briefly and 
to the point that there was to be no rib-sticking and 
the Mexican would have thought as soon of dis- 
obeying the commands of the Evil One as of going 
contrary to the instructions of the Captain. So as 
he crept towards Jo, he held not a poniard in his 
clenched hand, but a heavy weapon like a black- 
jack, made of leather with a weight at the end. 

Jo, however, spoiled his first attempt, for when 
the greaser had got within striking distance, Jo got 
up and went down to the pool to get a drink. If it 
had not been so dark, when they arrived, the boys 
would have seen tracks around the pool that would 
have aroused their suspicions. But everything 
seemed to work against them this time. 

Jo stooped down at the brink and scarcely put 
his thirsty lips to the water when some instinct of 
warning made him look quickly around and he saw 
a small dark object directly back of him. 

"Pardon, Senor, for startling you;" it was the 
voice of the dwarf, "but I, too, was very thirsty. It 
is in the air." 

"You needn't have been so quiet about it," said 
Jo, crossly. This little rat always had a way of 


baffling and irritating him, because he did not have 
Jim's force, which could beat down the dwarf when 
occasion demanded it, or the stoicism of Juarez, 
which blocked the hunchback. 

"I came softly, Senor," said the Mexican, im- 
perturbably, "because I did not wish to disturb the 
slumbers of the Senors who are resting." 

"Get down and drink, then," said Jo, who, 
though he realized that the Mexican was up to 
some hidden deviltry, did not know how to meet 
him. Jim and Juarez would have knocked him out 
of the camp if they had discovered him trailing 
them, with a warning that he would be shot if he 
put in an appearance again. 

While the Mexican was pretending to drink, Jo 
satisfied his thirst at a point of the pool where he 
would be safe from a sudden attack by the hunch- 
back. For Jo was not a fool by any means. Then 
he got to his feet and with the Mexican ahead of 
him, he saw to that, he made his way back to the 

Scarcely had Jo seated himself upon the rock 
again than he heard a stick snap upon the mountain 
side above the horses, so he got to his feet to inves- 

"You can stay where you are, Manuello," said 


Jo. "I don't need your company this time." The 
Mexican laughed softly to himself. 

"I hope the Senor Americano will not get lone- 
some," he said. 

Jo made a careful search in the direction of the 
sound but found no sign of a human being lurking 
among the trees. Though he felt exceedingly 
nervous, he was unable to account therefor or give 
a reason. 

Very quietly he went the rounds, so as not to 
awake the boys, who, however, were sleeping heav- 
ily. He found the horses all right standing with 
drooping heads as though dozing, Jo's black with 
his neck over Tom's bay, as these horses were 
great chums. But Caliente and Juarez's roan were 
not sociable and kept strictly to themselves. 

Then Jo returned to the rock where he had been 
sitting. He stirred the dying fire so that it sent up 
a feeble spurt of flame by the aid of which he 
looked at his watch. It lacked a few minutes of 
ten. The Mexican had -taken up his old place on 
the ground watching for his chance. He was 
anxious that the attack should take place during 
Jo's watch for he had his doubts in regard to 
Juarez or the redoubtable Jim proving easy victims. 

All this time, Captain Bill Broom and his crew 
had been keeping watch upon their intended victims 


from the top of the cliff above the pool. They 
could see every move from the time the Frontier 
Boys had arrived until they lay down near the 
smouldering fire. 

"They are a husky lot," was the Captain's first 
comment. "That tall fellar, I guess, is a horse 
tamer and Injun fighter." 

Some time later when the altercation occurred 
about the coffee and Juarez expressed his opinion 
about the Mexican, the Captain could scarcely keep 
from haw-hawing right out. 

"Them fellars have got some dis'pline," com- 
mented the saturnine mate. 

"You're right they hev," said the Captain. 

"That lad don't know how to handle my pet 
rattlesnake," was the Captain's comment when the 
Mexican trailed Jo to the drinking pool. After 
Jo had returned from making his rounds and had 
resumed his guard again, the Captain decided that 
the time had come for action. 

"Now, lads," he ordered, "pull off your shoes 
and the first man that makes a sound will get his 
neck cracked. Knock 'em out, if necessary, but 
no killing this time." 

Then they started, the Captain in the lead, and 
old Pete bringing up the rear. They had had a 
good many hours in that vicinity and had made a 


path from their hiding place to the soft dust trail. 
So they moved in their sock feet without a sound. 
There ,/as an oppressive stillness in that dark can- 
yon under the heavy blanket of fog. 

Already it had began to lower and as the sailors 
advanced with snail-like slowness the heavy white 
fog settled down, filling the canyon with its white 
opaqueness. You could not see five feet in front, 
and the moisture beaded itself upon the eyebrows 
and mustaches of the men. 

This dense fog was a great help to the attack- 
ing party. They had now crawled half way down 
the main trail, when Pete came near putting all the 
fat in the fire, for his eyesight was not overly keen, 
and the fog made it more difficult for him. He did 
not see a round stone poised on the edge of the 
trail until it rolled down towards the pool. 

Although every sound was deadened by the fog, 
still the watchful Jo heard it distinctly. He got 
quickly to his feet and, with soft moccasined tread 
he went in the direction of the sound, his pistol in 
his hand. 

No sooner had the stone fallen than the Captain 
motioned the mate to halt. This signal was re- 
peated to Jack Cales, who was so hidden by the 
fog that he could not see the Captain. He stopped 


suddenly so that old Pete tumbled over him, mak- 
ing some noise. 

The Captain almost had a fit of apoplexy because 
he did not dare express himself at this interesting 
juncture. Jo had heard the noise on the trail and 
his suspicions centered in that direction. Noise- 
lessly he went up with slight footprints in the 
damp dust of the trail. The Captain waited his 
coming, crouched behind a bend in the trail. 

Then Jo saw a huge figure rising suddenly out 
of the fog in front of him and, before he could fire, 
a great hand gripped for his throat, but if he could 
not shoot in defense, at least he could give his com- 
rades warning. He fired one shot, and then he was 

Jim and Juarez heard it instantly. Then Man- 
uello got in some of his work. Before Juarez 
could rise, he struck him a vicious blow upon the 
head that stunned him, rendering him unconscious. 
Cold with fury, Jim picked up the rat of a Mexi- 
can before he could land a blow upon him, whirled 
him over his head and dashed him upon the ground. 

Then he sprang through the fog in the direction 
of the shot. He heard Jo groan as the ruffians 
overpowered him and he leaped up the trail blind 
with a fighting rage. The Captain had just got up 


from the struggle with Jo, who lay as good as dead 
in the trail. 

Then Jim hurled himself upon him. Powerful 
though he was, the Captain could not withstand the 
sinewy lurch of that sudden attack and together 
boy and man crashed from the trail over rocks 
and through brush until with a fearful impact they 
struck the trunk of a pine tree. 

The mate sprang swiftly down to the rescue of 
his fallen master. He was a strong, sinewy man 
and knew how to act in an emergency. 


The jar of the fall had knocked out the Captain 
partially and Jim had risen to give him the coup 
de grace, when he heard the rush of the mate com- 
ing down, through the fog. It was a strange sen- 
sation hearing your enemy but not able to see him. 

Then the mate plunged into view, a dark ball 
through the opaqueness. He could not have 
stopped if he had so desired and it was evident that 
he did not wish to. For, with lowered head, he 
came for Jim as he would for an ugly sailor. 

Jim stopped him with his shoulder and ripped in 
a right uppercut with his keen hard fist that would 
have stopped the heart action of an ordinary man, 
and it sent the seasoned mate back upon his 
haunches, partially dazed. Feeling the Captain 
squirming back to life, he planted a back blow with 
his heel in the latter's stomach that took the wind 
out of the Captain's sails for the time being. The 
mate, a really hardy individual, had made good use 

"HAUL IN" 77 

of the brief respite and, picking up a heavy stick, 
came for Jim with it. 

The latter dodged the blow aimed at his head 
and it glanced or! his shoulder. Then he closed 
with the sailor, struggling to put him out. Three 
seconds more and Jim would have landed the 
proper blow, had not Jack Cales arrived upon the 
scene under cover of the melee. Before Jim could 
turn to meet this new assailant, a stone crashed 
against his head and the frontier boys had lost 

The Captain had now recovered sufficiently to 
get on his feet, and the fallen Jim was kicked until 
the Captain himself called a halt. 

"Wait till we get him on board ship, lads," he 
said, "and we will finish this job." 

"Better get the other two, Cap'n," advised the 

So they dragged the prostrate Jim to the foot of 
the trail near where the drinking pool was and went 
to look for Juarez and Tom. They saw a small 
black object crawling towards them through the 

"What's this a coming?" asked Jack Cales. 

"Why, it's my Mexican ferret," said the Captain. 
"What's the matter, Manuello?" he asked as he 
turned him over none too gently with his foot. 

"The big Senor throw me over his head and on 


the ground. I think I crack the world open," he 
explained. The Captain roared with laughter. 

"Where is the rest of this dangerous gang?" he 

"I will show you," he said, struggling to his feet. 
The presence of his master gave him strength and 
confidence. "This way, Senor Captain." 

He brought them to where Juarez lay upon the 
ground, partially held up by Tom, who had been 
crying and endeavoring to bring his comrade back 
to consciousness from the ugly blow that the Mexi- 
can had given him. I am sure that none could 
blame Tom for tears upon this occasion for it was 
calculated to try the heart of the stoutest. 

"Why, this boy looks like an Indian," said the 
Captain regarding Juarez closely. 

"He lived with the Indians when a boy, Senor 
Captain," volunteered the dwarf, who by subtle 
means of his own had become possessed of the 
history of the four boys. 

"He don't seem to be much more than a boy, 
now," said the Captain. They had not paid much 
attention to Tom because he seemed a mere kid, 
but the hunchback was not to be caught napping, 
for he had worked around back of Tom, and as 
the latter aimed his revolver at the Captain, having 
worked it cautiously out of his holster, the dwarf 

"HAUL IN" 79 

grabbed him in the nick of time else the expedition 
would have lost its head. 

Instead of being infuriated as one might have 
expected, the Captain was decidedly amused at the 
temerity of the youngster, for that is all Tom 
appeared to him, and, therefore, he did not hand 
him a beating. 

"The nerve of the little rooster," guffawed the 
Captain. "I'll make a real pirate out of you." 

Tom struggled wildly, but it was no use, as 
Jack Cales and the mate disarmed him. Just then 
there came a loud yell from up the trail. 

"Haul in, Cap'n !" It was Old Pete's well known 
and melodious voice. 

"Jack, go and see what the old cuss wants," or- 
dered the Captain. "I expect that the lad up there 
is trying to kidnap Pete." 

When Jack arrived on the scene, he found that 
the Skipper had guessed right. For Jo had been 
playing possum and was not nearly so badly hurt 
as he had appeared to be. 

He came near escaping from his keeper and it 
was only by a quick forward lunge that Pete had 
grabbed him and then occurred a short struggle 
in which Pete had called for help and just as Jo 
had wrestled himself loose, Cales appeared and 


grabbed him. It took both Pete and Cales quite a 
while to subdue him. 

Finally it was accomplished and they made him. 
go down the trail, one on either side. At the foot 
of the incline he saw the bruised and battered form 
of Jim lying on the ground and a big lump came 
into his throat. 

"You fellows will pay for this," he said, rendered 
desperate by the sight of Jim. But his captors 
only laughed, not realizing that the Frontier Boys 
were apt to keep their word. 

Then they joined the main gang and Jo saw to 
his dismay that Tom and Juarez were in the coils 
as well as himself and that Juarez, too, had been 
laid out and appeared dazed and only partially 
conscious of what was going on. Thus there was 
little hope of escape with the two leaders, Jim and 
Juarez, done for. 

"Better search these beggars for their money, 
Captain," suggested the mate. 

"It hadn't slipped my mind," replied the Skipper. 

Now the money and the jewels that the boys 
had found in Mexico were in leather belts around 
their bodies. These were soon in the possession 
of the Captain, but the crew knew full well that 
they would receive their share and thus it was that 

"HAUL IN" 81 

the Skipper gave promise of living to a ripe old 
age instead of being murdered for his money. 

"It's about time to make a start, Cap'n," an- 
nounced the mate, and the Captain consulted his 
watch by the light of a lantern. He found that 
it was half -past eleven. 

"We won't be so long going back," he said. 
"We will use their horses." 

This was easier said than done, for when any of 
the crew approached Caliente, that noble animal 
became transformed into a tiger and as he came 
for them with bared teeth or whirled and kicked 
out with his heels, they decided that discretion 
was the better part of valor and they left him alone. 
Sailors at best are not very clever horsemen. 

"Let me have a chance and I'll quiet him for 
you," volunteered Jim gruffly. "I don't want to 
see you poor fellows eaten alive." 

"My lad," said the Skipper solemnly, "I'm no 
spring chicken and you can't catch me with any 
such chaff." 



The other three horses proved more tractable than 
Caliente, and after some skirmishing they managed 
to get their new ships rigged up with the saddles 
and other tackle. Now as soon as they got their 
cargo aboard, they would be prepared to set sail 
and to cruise over the plains. (I must use this 
nautical language out of respect for Captain 
Broom and his crew.) 

As I have said before, sailors are poor horsemen 
and when it came to making fast the double 
cinches, they were quite at sea, where sailors should 
be, perhaps. Old Pete came near getting his head 
kicked off by pulling the back cinch too tight, but 
he and Captain Broom profited by their youthful 
experience on a New England farm, so the horses 
were finally all saddled and bridled and ready for a 
flight except Caliente. He was to be left ma- 
rooned in the lonely canyon. 

It was surprising to Jim and his comrades how 
quietly Juarez's roan took matters, but there is no 
relying on a broncho, because he always does the 


unexpected, and the Captain was so pleased with 
his behavior that he decided to ride the animal 

"Now, that's what I call a well broken hoss," 
he said. "I ain't so sure of the black so I will let 
you cruise on him, Jack, being the most active. 
I don't know what I shall do for Pete, unless I 
can find him a rocking-horse." 

"What are you going to do with the boys?" 
inquired the mate. "Have 'em walk?" 

"They can ride their pack mule," said the Cap- 
tain grimly. 

So Jo, Juarez and Jim were securely fastened 
on the patient mule, while Tom rode behind the 
mate upon his own horse, but no longer as master. 
Then the queer procession started up the trail 
through the dense fog. The Captain was in the lead, 
followed by the mate with Tom, then the mule with 
Pete and the Mexican dwarf guarding the animal 
and its cargo, while the active Jack Cales was the 
rear guard. It was exactly twelve o'clock when 
they weighed anchor and sailed from the harbor 
or cove in the mountain canyon. 

The three boys said little to each other. They 
did not waste their breath with threats of what 
they would do to their captors later on, but accepted 
the situation with true western stoicism. But you 


may be sure that their minds were active even if 
their tongues said little. 

They were so securely tied that there was no 
chance for them to make a move as their arms 
were corded tight to their bodies and their feet 
were tied under the belly of the mule. Unless they 
had been experienced riders they would have had 
a difficult time of it. But it was terribly humiliat- 
ing, especially under the insolence of the malignant 
Mexican. But he did not dare do them any actual 
injury, because the Skipper had given him a warn- 
ing which he did not dare to disregard. Finally, 
old Pete put an end to his slurring remarks to the 
prisoners, so he had to content himself with ugly 
looks and frequent expectoration wherewith to 
express his disgust. 

Before they reached the foot of the trail, Jack 
Cales changed with Pete, though the latter de- 
murred at first, at boarding the strange black craft 
with four legs, but finally consented under the urg- 
ing of Jack and the warm recommendation of the 
boys, who had taken somewhat of a fancy to the 
old sailor, since 'he had shut up the Mexican in 
their behalf. 

"He won't hurt you, Pop," said Jim, "he is a 
good horse. Any lady could ride him." 

"I ain't no lady," replied the old fellow suspi- 


ciously, as he slowly and stiffly mounted, while 
Jack held his head, that is to say, the horse's 
head, not Pete's. 

"What did he do that for?" inquired Pete, 
anxiously, preparing to dismount. 

"Stay on, you old Barnacle," roared the Captain 
from the head of the procession, for though he 
could not see anything in the rear, still he seerried 
able to keep an instinctive tab on his old comrade 

"That horse is all right, Pop," said Jo, "and I 
ought to know. I've ridden him a good many 
hundred miles. Don't tickle him with your heels, 
that's all." 

"I guess, that's what I've done," admitted Pete. 

Then the procession resumed its march with 
Pete as rear guard, riding with due caution and 
circumspection as though his craft was loaded with 
dynamite and liable to explode at any time. Jack 
Cales tried to quiz the prisoners on the mule in a 
friendly way, but they would not relax in their 
attitude of grim, if not sullen, defiance towards 
their captors. 

Captain Broom need not think that his prisoners 
would ever accept any conditions from him. 
Doubtless, he thought that these boys might be 
trained to help him in his business for he appre- 


elated their courage and fighting ability, but he did 
not fully understand what stuff the frontier boys 
were made of. 

The procession of pirates and their prisoners had 
now reached the foot of the range and were in close 
proximity to the ranch, but everything favored the 
plans of the Skipper of the Sea Eagle. The fog 
became denser when they reached the level plain 
so that it was scarcely possible for the rider to see 
the ears of his horse. 

Every sound was deadened, so that they could 
have gone directly past the ranch houses and not 
even the dogs would have heard them. But the 
Captain was determined to take no chances, and 
as soon as the party were free of the canyon, he 
bore off toward the south, making quite a circuit. 

Anybody but an experienced navigator would 
have been lost in the fog upon the plain, but you 
could not lose Captain Broom either on the high 
seas or the low plains. They passed between two 
wooded hills, which the reader will have to take 
on faith as he cannot see them. Then across a 
gully, on the other side of which they came to a 
barb wire fence. 

This did not stop them long, as the Captain cut 
it and they rode through. From the footing which 
was about all that could be observed, they appeared 


to be in a pasture land with a gentle slope towards 
the sea. The fog did not diminish in thickness and 
the boys determined to escape. Here was their 
chance, if they could be said to have one. 

"Here's where we make a break," said Jim to 
Juarez. "Guide the mule alongside of Tom. Then 
we will run for it." Jim did not say this in so many 
words, but he had ways and means of indicating to 
Juarez, who was tied directly back of him, by a sign 
and poke language which Juarez was quick to seize. 

It seemed at every turn that his experience with 
the Indians was a help to him. The mule was a 
protege of Juarez and with a word he could guide 
it in any direction that he wished it to go. The 
fog was one thing that favored them. The Mexi- 
can could scarcely be seen and Jack Cales stalked 
along looking like a giant through the mist. 

He had grown somewhat lax through the long 
march. This was the time, if ever. Jim gave 
Juarez the signal that all was ready. A quick word 
to the mule and he trotted out from his place in 
the column, knocking over the Mexican and before 
Cales was fairly awake to the situation, he was 
obscured by the fog. 

In about two seconds he had hove alongside of 
the horse that the mate was on. Tom was foot- 
loose, and no sooner did he see Missouri's long 


ears through the fog, than he was ready for action. 

"Jump, Tom," urged Jim. It took only about 
two seconds for Tom to execute the manoeuvre. 

"Halt!" roared the Captain, and he tried to turn 
the roan to capture the runaways, but right here, 
the broncho strain in the animal showed itself. 

He began to buck and never in all his experience 
had the redoubtable Captain Broom ever been on 
so choppy a sea. It was hard to distinguish fog 
from whiskers. At the second hunch upward, the 
Captain shot into space. The boys did not tarry to 
watch for his descent. A word from Juarez to the 
mule, and Missouri turned directly south just as 
Jack Cales came rushing up. 

"Touch him with your foot, Tom," said Juarez, 
meaning the mule, not Cales. Tom's heel reached 
the right spot and up flew the mule's hind feet with 
the rapidity of a rapid fire-gun. 

One foot struck Cales on the shoulder with a 
sufficient impact to send him down and out. The 
mate had been involved in the cyclone of which 
Captain Broom was the centre. Tom's horse, con- 
sidered the gentlest of the four, had become in- 
fected with the roan's example and he started in 
to do a little bucking on his own account. Never 
since the mate had rounded Cape Horn, had he 
known so much action in so short a time. 


The only one left was Old Pete and he came on 
right gallantly, but by dodging and turning they 
got away in the fog. After putting what they con- 
sidered a safe distance between themselves and 
their former captors, Juarez persuaded Missouri 
to halt, and Tom went to work and with great 
difficulty first untied, then lifted, them to the 
ground for the boys were as stiff as boards from 
being tied hard and fast for so long a time. 

"My, but it certainly hurts," said Jo, stamping 
around in an endeavor to get the blood to circulat- 
ing again. "It's just like it used to be back home 
in the winter when we would go skating and get 
our hands numb." 

"What is the matter, Juarez?" asked Jim in 

"Oh, I'm all right, I guess," he said in a voice 
that sounded faint to the boys and far away to him- 
self. Then, without warning, he fell over on the 
ground and stiffened out. 

"It's from the blow that the greaser gave him," 
said Tom. "It would have killed him if it had 
struck him fair." 

"Wait until I get my hands on him," cried Jim, 

What should they do now? It was not an easy 
question to decide. 



They could not desert Juarez and they could not 
get far with him. It was enough to stagger them 
and it seemed that they had reached the end of their 

"If it wasn't such an open country," said Jo, 
"we might hide until they had got out of range and 
then get to the nearest ranch." 

"If they overtake us we can stand them off," 
saying this Jim reached for his revolver. To his 
astonishment it was gone. Then he remembered 
he had been disarmed by Captain Broom, and they 
were absolutely defenseless unless they could de- 
pend on Missouri's heels which had furnished them 
such active protection. 

Finally they brought Juarez around so that he 
was able to sit up. 

"Where am I ?" he asked in a sort of daze. 

"You will be all right in a minute, old chap," en- 
couraged Jim, speaking cheerfully, but he did not 

feel so. 



"You bet I will," he assented feebly, but with 
invincible determination. "What are you holding 
me for, Jim? Let's get at those fellows." It was 
evident that his mind was not exactly clear yet. 
They got him on his feet and he seemed better, 
though still very wabbly. 

"There come those fellows," cried Jim, sud- 
denly, with more of despair in his tone than he had 
ever spoken before, no matter how hard pressed 
they had been. But before there had always been 
something to do, but now they were helpless. Jim 
looked hastily around for some weapon. All he 
found was a small round stone. 

With a yell of exultation, Jack Cales and the 
mate dashed down upon them, followed by the Cap- 
tain and old Pete. They had been able to follow 
the distinctive mark of the mule's shoes in the soft 
earth until they came in hearing of the boys' voices. 
Then they jumped upon them. They were out for 
blood this time, for they had the boys' revolvers in 
their hands, probably because they were better than 
their own. 

Missouri, finding himself free, made off. Tom 
halted when covered by one of the sailor's revol- 
vers, but Jim dodged as the mate fired at him. The 
lug of lead spattered the mud between his feet, the 


next second he was off full speed through the fog, 
followed by fleet Jo. 

The sailors soon gave up the useless chase, for 
there was no trail to guide them, so they had to 
content themselves with half of their original cap- 
ture and they started for the cove where the Sea 
Eagle was anchored as fast as they could go, 
though they were hampered by Juarez. 

"Better leave him, Captain," urged old Pete. 
"He is nothing but a nuisance." 

"I'll have use for that fellow yet," said the Cap- 
tain. "As for the other lad, he won't feel so lively 
after a few days on shipboard." 

This did not have a very cheerful sound for Tom 
and he was in anything but a happy frame of mind. 
Still he had great confidence in Jim and did not 
give up hope of being rescued before the coast was 
reached. It was now getting towards daybreak, 
and the fog began to lift somewhat so that they 
could see a distance of thirty or forty yards. 

Captain Broom's gang had now left the region 
of the level pasture and were coming to the brush 
section, fringing the coast, and beyond that they 
reached the sand dunes. The nearer they came to 
the sea the more depressed Tom became. The only 
thing that encouraged him was the fact that Juarez 
began to seem like himself. 


Let us now return to Jo and Jim, who had been 
so fortunate as to make their escape. As soon as 
they were sure that the pursuit was at an end, they 
slowed down to a walk. 

"Well, they didn't give us much of a chase," 
remarked Jim. 

"Plenty to suit me. What are we going to do 
now ?" 

"This fog is beginning to lift," said Jim, "and 
then we can take our bearings. I want to locate 
this ranch the first thing, and then we can get 

"Here's a wire fence," announced Jo, "I reckon 
it's the one the old geser cut." 

"It surely is and a straight course north is our 
direction," remarked Jim. 

"Here are hills that look like those we rode 
through," said Jo. 

"We will soon be there now," was Jim's cheer- 
ful comment "What's that? It sounds like a dog 
barking." They stopped, listening intently, as the 
sound came faint, but there was no mistaking it. 

"I suppose it's some big hound, that they usually 
keep on these ranches," said Jo, who was beginning 
to feel depressed from hunger and fatigue, "and 
he will jump at us because we haven't any 


But in spite of Jo's fear they hurried on in the 
direction of the sound. In a short time, they came 
to a road between two barb wire fences, which the 
reader will remember that the Captain and his crew 
took when they were coming through the Sebastian 
ranch. But the boys struck it higher up, and were 
soon in the pasture that sloped down from the ranch 
houses toward the road. 

Jim and Jo now heard the voices of men as well 
as the baying of the dogs. The men were talking 
excitedly about the finding of one of their number 
in the canyon tied and gagged, and it was evi- 
dent that it was not a good time for strangers to 
visit the ranch of the Sebastians. 

But Jim and Jo were dulled to danger and did 
not care what risk they ran and so they called to the 
men in a friendly Spanish greeting. There was 
instantly a great hubbub, and two men charged 
down upon them, preceded by a couple of fierce- 
looking mongrels. These came dashing for them 
with red, gaping mouths. The boys defended 
themselves gallantly with two stout sticks that they 
had picked up. Then the two Mexicans took a 

"Look out, Jo," cried Jim, who was ever on the 
alert. "That fellow is going to throw his lasso." 
Jo dodged just in the nick of time, but this gave 


one of the dogs a chance, and if Jim had not 
stunned him by a resounding crack on the head it 
would have gone hard with his brother. 

Just then another man appeared on the scene, at- 
tracted from the vicinity of the house by the noise 
of the encounter. He came full speed on a splen- 
did sorrel. It was Juan Sebastian, a dark, hand- 
some young man, a true son of Spain. 

What's all this ?" he cried as he rode up. "Here, 
Sancho, Jan, you brutes, come off." The dogs 
slunk obediently to heel. 

"We found those insolent Gringoes," said one of 
the men, "coming straight for the Senor's house. 
We undertook to stop them." 

"Senor," said Jim, bowing low and speaking in 
his best Spanish, "we are sorry, my brother and I, 
to have caused this disturbance. We are stran- 
gers and unfortunate, and we have heard of your 
hospitality, Senor" Jim bowed again. He was 
not so simple, after all. 

The Senor Sebastian returned the bow with 
more grace than Jim could command. 

"I regret, Senor " he hesitated. 

"Darlington," added Jim. 

"Senor Darlington, that you have been at- 
tacked in this manner, but there has been a party 
of desperadoes that have been overrunning this 


part of the country for the past two days, and 
they took one of my men and bound and gagged 
him and so you see, Senors," a smile and bow 
completed the Spanish gentleman's apology per- 

"We have just escaped, not more than an hour 
ago, from these same desperadoes," said Jim. 
"They have taken my brother and friend with 
them towards the coast." 

"We will saddle and overtake them," promised 
the Senor, "after we have had breakfast." 

Jim was stunned by this gentle sort of procrasti- 

"But, Senor," he said gravely, "we will not be 
able to overtake them if we do not start immedi- 
ately. Pardon my abruptness, but I cannot rest 
while there are two of my party prisoners in the 
hands of this gang of cut-throats." 

"It is to be perfectly understood," replied the 
Spaniard with no less gravity, "we will make 
haste, but first we will eat while the servants are 
getting two of the horses ready for you and your 

This was not Jim's idea of making haste by a 
long shot, but he was enough of a traveler to 
recognize that the ways of men and nations differed 
and that nothing was to be gained by going 


against the grain of a national characteristic. So 
while fuming inwardly, he was outwardly quiet 
and composed. He argued, too, that it was not 
likely the pirate gang would retain the captured 
prisoners. Later, when they were themselves at 
a safe distance they would set free the others. 

As they went towards the house, the Spaniard 
dismounted and walked with them, giving his 
horse into the charge of one of the men, with di- 
rections to bring two other horses to the house. 
There was an unmistakable courtesy in doing this 
and the boys appreciated it. They could not help 
but contrast their appearance with that of the 
Spaniard. He was not gaudily dressed like a 
vaquero, but everything he wore was possessed 
of a certain richness and was not lacking in color. 
He truly was a Prince of the South in appearance 
as well as in courtesy. 

Jim and Jo were disreputable beyond words. 
Their clothes were muddy, torn and disheveled, 
their faces so grimed that it was hard to tell their 
original color, and there were blotches of blood 
upon their clothes as well as faces and hands. 
But, though they looked worse than tramps, there 
was something straightforward in their manner 
and their way of speech that the Spaniard was 
quick to recognize. 


As they walked along the Spaniard explained 
that his household had been unusually disturbed 
that morning. His mother, he said, was an in- 
valid, and had escaped from her attendant. Some 
mental trouble, he briefly mentioned as the cause 
of the elderly lady's worriment. Evidently, he did 
not connect the tragedy in his own life, in which 
his father's life was sacrificed, with the boys' an- 
tagonist. His mother, he assured them, had been 
found and was returned to her home. 

The boys now had a good view of the house, 
as they approached it. The fog having lifted, 
they could take in the whole situation. The struc- 
ture itself was of adobe, of the early California 
type, low, with broad verandas, and built on four 
sides around a court with a fountain in the cen- 
tre, with fish in the basin, and grass around it. 
There were beautiful rose-tree bushes with gold 
and red clusters growing over the corners of the 

From the verandah there was a beautiful view 
looking off over the surrounding country. The 
house itself stood on a rise of ground that sloped 
gently from the plain below. Back of it rose the 
mountains of the coast range, while in the distance 
glittered the broad breadths of the Pacific, shining 


like an azure floor. As far as eye could see was 
the domain of this great ranch. It was, indeed, a 
princely estate, and one of which the Senor Se- 
bastian might well be proud. Those were the days 
of romance and of charm in the land of Southern 



The servants eyed the two boys curiously as 
they stepped upon the verandah and the brothers 
were not reassured by any looks of friendliness, 
though they were outwardly courteous. A with- 
ered looking old woman, who looked to Jim as 
though she had Indian blood showed the boys to 
a room, where they could wash up. 

"Jove! Doesn't it dazzle your eyes, Jo?" ex- 
claimed Jim, "to see a real room, with a bed and 
a white spread, with those starched things where 
the pillows ought to be." 

"This room would certainly please Aunt 
Maria," remarked Jo. "That four poster bed 
with the canopy over it, is an old timer, I'll war- 
rant you." 

"If I slept in this room," said Jim, "I would 
make a low bow to the bed and then roll up in my 
blanket and go to sleep on the floor." 
."How do I look?" asked Jo, after he had 


rubbed and scrubbed his face for a long time. 

"You have got off the first layer," replied Jim, 
"and look about the color of a half-breed. Let 
me try my hand at polishing up." 

"It will take you a week," remarked Jo discour- 

It cannot be truly said that they looked orna- 
mental even when they were clean, for Jim's face 
was badly torn, one side of it being scraped raw. 
He got this memento when he tackled the Captain 
and fell down into the canyon with him. One 
eye was blackened and the other cheek bruised. 
These disadvantages were not to be overcome in 
a short time. 

Jo was somewhat more presentable, but he, too, 
showed signs of the rough time that they had had 
with the Captain and his "merry" crew. But in 
spite of all this, there was something in their bear- 
ing, an honest hardihood and manliness that could 
not be discounted by torn clothes and bruised 

"This room looks dirty, now," said Jo, "I'm 
ashamed to leave it like this." 

"We will go outside to brush off our clothes," 
proposed Jim, "and I'm going to empty this dirty 
water myself." He started out with it when he 
met one of the servants in the hall. With many 

explanations, numerous gestures and much ex- 
citement, she took the pail from Jim and disap- 
peared with it. 

"They won't let you do anything for yourself 
here, Jo," reported Jim, returning to the room. 

This was correct and the boys noticed after- 
wards that the servants regarded them with odd 
expressions of amusement and it was evident to 
the sensitive Jo that they were being "guyed" by 
them, to use a modern expression. The boys 
being American lads, were self-reliant, and were 
accustomed to do everything for themselves, and, 
unknowingly they had gone counter to a custom 
of constant service of the Spaniards. It was to 
demean oneself, according to their code, to do any 
menial work. 

"Might as well start for the dining room," pro- 
posed Jo. "I hate leaving Tom and Juarez to 
their fate this way." 

"I more than hate it," protested Jim, "but as 
you can't hurry these people, we will make the 
best time by falling in with their way of doing 

Then they went out into a passageway and, tak- 
ing the wrong turn, which was quite easy in the 
rambling old house, they came to a door that en- 
tered into the courtyard. 


"My, but this is beautiful/'exclaimed Jo. "It 
makes you appreciate California better when you 
see a place like this." 

"That hammock looks good to me," said Jim. 
"I would like to stretch out in it right now." 

Just then the door opened on the verandah and a 
really beautiful young girl stepped out. She was 
probably seventeen years of age, dressed in white, 
with a black mantilla over her equally black hair 
and her dark cheeks glowed with color. A very 
romantic meeting, Messieurs, the gallant young 
Americans at one end of the verandah and the 
Senorita at the other. Then she saw Jim and 
Jo with their scarred and bruised faces. With a 
little shriek, and clasping her hand to her eyes, 
she retreated quickly to her room. 

"What did you do to scare that girl, Jo?" in- 
quired Jim severely of his brother. 

"Nothing," declared Jo, stoutly. "It was the 
sight of your face. It would give a wooden Injun 
a chill." Jim felt of the said face reflectively. 

"I guess you are right, Jo," he admitted, "but 
you ain't so charming in appearance that you 
would do any damage." 

"Let's walk along this side," proposed Jo. 
"Perhaps we will locate the breakfast." 

"All right," agreed Jim. 


So they stalked along, more or less conscious! 
that a pair of dark blue eyes were regarding them, 
and they thought they heard a trill of 
laughter, but it might have been one of the maids. 
They need not have felt embarrassed for there 
was the grace in their movements that goes with 
strength and youth and suppleness. 

They were walking under a perfect bower of 
flowers anyway. For this side was beautifully lat- 
ticed and over the lattice work grew vines with 
purple and golden flowers, that would give a 
grateful shade when the California sun would 
drive the fog away. 

Under foot there was a double flagging of 
stone with trodden dirt on either side. 

"I don't see a broom anywhere," said Jo. 

Just then they heard the voice of Senor Sebas- 
tian behind them and they turned quickly. 

"I had begun to fear, Senors, that you had be- 
come lost again." 

"We were, partially, Senor." 

"Our simple breakfast is ready now if you are," 
he said. 

"We will have to brush the dirt off before we 
can go in," protested Jim. 

"Antonio bring a brush," called the Senor. In 
a moment a gray-haired, bent Mexican came with 


a big kitchen broom. Instantly the Senor flushed 
with anger. 

"Stupid one, my guests are not my horses. 
Have a care." 

A suspicion flashed through Jim's mind that 
the ancient servitor had brought the broom on 
purpose. It was clear that the servants did not 
have a very high opinion of their American vis- 
itors. The next time he returned he had gotten 
the right brush, and made a point of sneezing as 
the dust flew from their mud-dried clothes. This 
made Jim laugh in spite of himself. 

"More dust than the Sirocco brings," said Jim. 
The old servitor regarded him with a cunning eye. 

"Si, Senor," he said, then he was seized with a 
perfect convulsion of sneezing. This aroused his 
master's ire. 

"No more of that, Antonio," he commanded, 
"or it will be the lash." Antonio's cold was cured 
from that moment. Jim's mouth twitched at the 
corners with the humor of it but he did not laugh 
now for that would be discourteous to his host. 

Finally the brushing was finished to the regret 
of the servants, who had kept an amused eye on 
Antonio's performance, while pretending to be 
busy on some trivial tasks near the Patio or 
court. In her own room, the Senorita was faint 


with laughter as she watched Antonio dusting the 
two American lads. 

It was a simple breakfast that the boys found 
prepared for them in a long, low dining-room, 
with its dark beams and white plastered walls^ 
The coffee was excellent, with a delicate aroma, 
and was probably the best that Mexico could 
afford. There was a large plate of meat gar- 
nished with peppers, and a mixed dish of vege- 
tables that looked odd, but that tasted deliciously. 
You may be sure that Jim and Jo appreciated their 
meal, and they felt invigorated when it was fin- 
ished, wishing all the while, however, that they 
were on the trail of their captured comrades. 

"Now, Senors, the horses are at the door. They 
are spirited, but I am sure that you ride well." 

This was a mere expression of courtesy on his 
part, for he did not expect any such thing and 
thought to see his guests fall off if the horses 
should rise on their hind legs, as they no doubt 
would, for there was not a horse on the big rancho 
but what was peppery and spirited. No sooner 
had the Senor spoke than Jim jumped to his feet, 
putting his hand to his head. 

"I have forgotten about Caliente !" he exclaimed. 
"It is my horse, Senor," he explained to his host 


"He is up the canyon because the gang that at- 
tacked us last night were afraid of him." 

"I will send for him," said the Senor. 

"By the pool in the pocket," said Jim. "But I 
think I ought to get him myself, though I appre- 
ciate your offer, but one's horse, you know " 

"I understand perfectly." 

"I cannot leave him without food and water," 
said Jim. 

"I will attend to that. I will send a trustworthy 
man," and he spoke to the servant who was wait- 
ing on the table. In a short time he returned 
with a tall, sinewy man, with straight black hair 
and dark skin. He gave this man the necessary 
instructions and with a "Si, Senor," the man went 

"A good reliable fellow," remarked Jim. "He 
looks like an Indian." 

"He is an Indian," replied their host, "but of 
the right kind. Your horse is in good hands." 

"Tell him to bring him down to the ranch," said 
Jim. "I'll trust Caliente with him." The Indian 
was called 'back and under his stolid demeanor 
was an appreciation of Jim's confidence. 

Breakfast over they went out on the verandah, 
where they could see the horses. They were spir- 
ited looking beasts all right. One was a bay, the 


two front legs white stockinged, very trimly built, 
with a flashing eye, that he kept rolling around. 
The boy who was holding him had his hands full, 
as the bay would rise on his hind legs and strike 
out viciously with his forefeet. 

The other animal was much heavier than the 
bay. A brilliant black, whose coat fairly shone 
with careful grooming. He had been standing 
comparatively quiet until the three appeared upon 
the verandah of the house, then, with a sudden 
surge backward, he dragged the Mexican boy off 
his feet, shaking his head viciously.. 

"We ought to be armed, Senor," advised Jim. 
"If we should overtake those men, they will put 
up a desperate fight." 

"Certainly, Senor," he answered. "Come into 
this room and select your weapon." 

After both Jim and Jo were armed, they went 
out to the horses. 



All the servants seemed just now to find duties 
of importance in front of the house or near it. 
They had no idea of missing the chance of seeing 
these Gringoes, whom they held in contempt, 
thrown from their horses. 

Jim took the black and Jo was left the red, the 
easiest to manage even if he seemed the liveliest. 
Jo was too quick for his horse and before he 
could whirl to one side, he was in the saddle. 
Then his animal reared and plunged but Jo sat 
on him as easily as a cowboy does his steed. There 
was no mistaking his horsemanship. The serv- 
ants were duly and deeply disappointed. 

But their hopes revived when they saw Jim 
tackle the black. He began that steady sideways 
movement which Jim knew so well, whenever he 
tried to put his foot in the stirrup. The servants 
began to smile, here would be some fun. The 
"Black Devil," as they called the horse, had been 

known to kill men, so they had pleasant anticipa- 


tions. When Jim found that he could not mount 
by the stirrup, he made a quick, powerful leap 
and was in the saddle. 

"Bravo!" cried the Senor Sebastian, but he 
knew that the fight had just begun. 

Jo looked on with interest and perfect confi- 
dence in brother Jim's ability. The black stood 
perfectly stunned for a moment or two at being 
so suddenly mounted, then he sprang into action. 
With his back in a hump he shot into the air and 
came down stiff-legged. 

Without loss of a second he went into the air 
again, higher than before. From the corral the 
Mexican cowboys were looking at the duel between 
the horse and the boy with lively interest. 

"The Diablo will kill him," said one nonchal- 
antly, blowing a puff of smoke from his cigarette. 

"Five dollars that the Gringo stays on," said a 
second. The wager was made and others fol- 
lowed, for the Mexicans are inveterate gamblers. 
The third time the horse pitched into the air, 
Jim swaying with the animal's every motion as the 
trained cowboy does. Finding that he could not 
dislodge his rider that way, the black rose on his 
hind legs to a perpendicular position. 

Jim knew the trick of old, and was prepared for 
it. As the horse started to fall backwards, Jim 


who had been sticking like a leech, leaped lightly 
to the ground and with all his strength, pulling 
upon the bridle, slammed him to the ground. No 
sooner was the horse upon his feet again than Jim 
was in the saddle. 

Once more he tried that falling back trick and 
this time Jim brought him down upon the damp 
earth with a thud that jarred things. The black 
devil had had enough. He stood quivering and 
sweating, but for the time being subdued. 

"Bravo!" cried the Senor Sebastian again, and 
he shook his guest by the hand warmly. "You 
are a true horseman. Now we shall go. We 
shall eat up the miles." 

The crowd of cowboys swung their hats in a 
salute to the Gringo, who could conquer the black 
devil, while the house servants, disappointed at 
the stranger's triumph, went back to their differ- 
ent tasks. 

The three horsemen galloped away down the 
sloping pasture, the Spaniard in advance as he 
knew the country and the most direct way to the 
coast. His horse was a splendid sorrel, somewhat 
taller than the horse that Jim rode. And he was 
a gallant figure in his leather riding suit and 
peaked sombrero with a brilliant colored band 
around it. 


Jim and Jo rode a few yards behind the Span- 
iard and side by side. Jim felt a certain exulta- 
tion in his victory over the Black before people 
who would have liked to have seen him defeated. 
It was exhilarating, too, this plunging gallop 
ahead with a chance to rescue Tom and Juarez 
and to get even with Captain Broom and his gang, 
who had taken away their valuables and had given 
the boys such a cruel defeat. 

"This is a fine horse," said Jim, "though he 
hasn't the stride of Caliente." 

"He is a beauty, when it comes to bucking,*' 
Jo commented. "There is nothing the matter 
with this bay but my black can beat him for 

So they flew on, the speed of their steeds blowing 
back their horses' manes, and the fresh air from 
the sea bringing a feeling of hope to their 
hearts, that they would yet be able to overtake 
the prates, and rescue their comrades in dis- 
tress. Their horses' feet were devouring the 

"We stand a chance to get 'em at this rate," 
shouted Jim. 

"Won't it be fine if we can all sit down to 
dinner tonight?" replied Jo. "I bet that Tom and 
Juarez would enjoy a square meal with the Senor 


at the ranch house. It's kind of nice to be civ- 
ilized once in a while." 

"You're right, it is," declared Jim emphatically. 

"I wonder if there isn't a store around here 
where we could buy some clothes," inquired Jo, 
anxiously. "We look too disreputable to appear 
in oolite society." 

"Thinking about that girl, I suppose?" re- 
marked Jim with brotherly intuition. 

"I wouldn't be so sure if I were you," replied 
Jo evasively. "How about the Senorita down 
in Mexico who threw you the rose at the castfe?" 
This reference to the Senorita Cordova whom 
the Frontier Boys had rescued in Mexico, checked 
Jim from getting too gay for he still had a tender 
place in his memory for her. 

The fog by this time was entirety dissipated, 
and they could see by certain white or rather light 
spots in the clouds where the sun was going to 
break through and an absolutely clear day would 
result. The three riders had now reached die 
brush region that began a few miles from the 
coast and they were compelled to go more 

But if they had only known what was going on 
not more than two miles away from where they 
were, they would not have slackened speed no 


matter what risk they ran. For Captain Broom 
and his crew with the two captives had arrived at 
the cove and old Pete and Jack Cales were going 
into the cave for the boat. 

There was a chance, but the Senor and his com- 
panions must hurry. Some mishap to the pirates' 
expedition just at this point and the frontier boys 
would win. Tom and Juarez might have sung the 
tune that they had often sung before in camp. 

"Tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching, 
Cheer up, comrades, they will come, 

And beneath the starry flag 

We will breathe the air again 

Of freedom in our own beloved home." 

But they did not know and they sat miserable 
and dejected upon the damp sand of the beach, 
not knowing that Jim and Jo were coming nearer 
every second. Then there came an accident, 
though a slight one, that gave the pursuers a 

Old Pete was carrying one end of the boat. He 
was nervous, anyway, in regard to the cave and 
its grewsome contents, thought he saw some dark 
spectre coming for him out of the blackness of the 
cave and he dropped his end of the boat and 
scudded for the beach. 


The Captain was furious, giving him a blow 
that sent him spinning half way down to the 
water, and he and the mate rushed back to see 
what damage the boat had suffered. It was only 
slightly stove in, but every second was precious. 
The pursuers were only a mile away. 

Jim began to grow restless as they neared the 
coast. He seemed to feel that they were nearing 
the enemy, and at his urging, the Spaniard, who 
had an increased respect and liking for Jim ever 
since he had conquered Black Diablo, put his horse 
to the gallop, and away they went along the nar- 
row winding path through the bushes. 

The branches whipt them, but they paid no at- 
tention, but on they went; it was evident that they 
made considerable racket and Captain Broom, 
with a fierce burst of energy for which he was 
famous, got the boat launched, the two prisoners 
in, and with himself and the mate at the oars, 
made the boat leap forward over the lazy rolling 
swell towards the graceful Sea Eagle. 

When they had reached a point half-way to the 
vessel, the horsemen came tearing through the 
last screen of brush onto the yellow sand. The 
enemy had escaped by the skin of its teeth and it 
was heart-rending to see Tom and Juarez being 


carried away from them at every stroke of the 
oars towards their black prison. Jim put up his 
hands to his mouth and yelled: 

"We will rescue you, boys. Don't give up. 
We'll get 'em yet." 

A derisive yell greeted this challenge and one of 
the men in the boat fired at the group on the 
shore, but the bullet fell harmlessly short. They 
did not dare to fire in return lest they hit either 
Tom or Juarez. 

"They have steam up on board," observed Jim. 
"But I see one chance to do some execution." 

It was this. The Sea Eagle was anchored close 
under a cliff on the northern side of the cove. So 
Jim slipped off his horse, for the way on that side 
was impracticable except on foot. It was hard 
going at that, especially as there were a good 
many cacti with their wretched thorns. 

Jim stepped gingerly along over the rocks, glid- 
ing through the bushes until at last he reached 
a point above the vessel where he could almost 
look down upon her decks. The boat from the 
shore had just come alongside and the prisoners 
were hustled into the cabin and the door locked. 
Tom and Juarez were a dejected-looking pair and 
it made Jim's heart ache to see them. 

The Captain went upon the quarter-deck and 


gave an order to the man at the wheel. The 
anchor had already been weighed. Slowly and 
gracefully the Sea Eagle turned, and there stood 
Captain Broom, as big as life upon the bridge. 
Why did not Jim fire? Because he had come to 
a certain wise conclusion. 



As Jim had raised his revolver to fire, a sudden 
idea came to him. In the first place he rebelled 
instinctively from shooting a man down in cold 
blood from ambush, even if he was as desperate 
and crime-stained a character as Captain Bill 
Broom, besides it would not save Tom and Juarez 
and only make their captivity harder to endure, 
if any injury was done the Captain. 

Another thing, Jim was sure that if he began 
the attack that his two comrades would be used 
as shields to protect the man at the wheel, so that 
the Sea Eagle could be navigated safely out of the 
cove. He saw with interest the narrow place be- 
tween two lines of foam above hidden ledges 
where the boat must pass in order to reach the 
open sea. He marvelled at the temerity of Cap- 
tain Broom in daring to bring his ship through 
such a place. 

Then a brilliant thought came to him, a sudden 

stroke that might turn defeat into victory. The 


Sea Eagle was now making straight for the nar- 
row channel. Jim slipped back for a short dis- 
tance an ran as rapidly as he could to a point 
a little to the west of where he had first hidden. 
He did not have long to wait. The Sea Eagle 
was almost directly opposite his place of ambush, 
and was just sticking her nose into the narrow 

Jim raised his revolver and took careful aim 
and fired. The man at the wheel gave a yell and 
clapped his hand to the shoulder, letting go the 
wheel and the nose of the little steamer swung 
toward the rock. A swell lifted her bow clear 
by a few inches, and the Captain caught the 
steamer by the wheel and brought her to a course. 

"Bring those boys up on deck and shoot them 
if that black-haired devil," (meaning Jim) "fires 
another shot," he called to the mate. 

That worthy was not slow to obey the order, 
he had them on deck in full sight in a jiffy and 
held a pistol at Tom's head. Jim had raised his 
arm to fire at the Captain when he heard his order 
and it was as if he had been paralyzed. He knew 
that Tom and Juarez would have been killed to a 
certainty if he fired another shot. 

Luck had broken against him again, for that 
was all that had kept the Sea Eagle from going on 


the reef, where if she had not been wrecked, she 
and her crew would have been at the mercy of the 
men on shore. Just the lifting of the wave had 
saved the vessel by a few inches, that, and Captain 
Broom's quick and skillful action. 

The second round of the contest had gone in 
favor of the pirate and his crew, but only by a 
shade as it were. But it would not surprise me a 
bit if Jim evened up matters in the third and final 
round. Let us hope so, at least, for that will give 
a silver lining to the black cloud that had rolled 
over the boys' fortunes at this particular time. 

Jim made his way slowly back to where Jo and 
the Senor were waiting for him on the beach. He 
was despondent over the failure of his plans by so 
close a margin, and the sight of Tom and Juarez 
helpless on the deck in the hands of these sea- 
coast pirates, was always before his eyes. 

"What were you trying to do, Jim?" inquired 
Jo, "Sink the ship?" Before Jim could reply, the 
Spaniard gave a cry of warning. 

"Look out, they are going to shoot." 

Glancing toward the Sea Eagle, which was now 
a half mile from shore, they saw a puff of smoke, 
and then a shell struck into the beach below them 
and exploding, sent a shower of sand over them 
and the horses. The latter, frightened, reared and 


plunged, but the boys soon got their animals under 
control, as they quickly tired of acting up in the 
heavy sand. Jim shook his fist in the direction of 
the Sea Eagle. 

"Curse your insolence!" he yelled. "I'll make 
every one of you eat crow, you miserable 

Jim looked ugly, his eyes glared with concen- 
trated fury and the veins on his temple were swollen 
and throbbing. Unthinkingly, he pulled back 
hard upon the bit, sending his horse up in the air. 

"Easy, boy," he said, soothingly. "Easy. It 
was my fault for yanking you." 

When the horse was quieted, Jim was cooled 
down to his normal temperature, and he told his 
comrades of his attack upon the Sea Eagle and 
how it had turned out. 

"Senor Darlington," said the Spaniard impress- 
ively, "I will take off my hat to you. You are a 
natural General. Take my advice, my friend, 
and go to Spain. There you might head a revo- 
lution and in time rise to high mark." 

"I appreciate your praise deeply, Senor Sebas- 
tian," responded Jim, "but my own country, 
Senor, I could not leave it for another." 

"Right, Senor," replied the Spaniard, "you have 
the true spirit." 


"Which way will she turn, do you suppose?" 
asked Jo, pointing to the vessel that was moving 
steadily out on the Pacific in a straight line from 
the shore. 

"To the North, doubtless," replied the Spaniard. 

"Wherever she goes we must find her out," 
said Jim, with grim determination. 

"I wish we could follow them," sighed Jo. "If 
we could only hire a boat." 

"They have our money," replied Jim, briefly. 

"I had forgotten that," said Jo, and his face 
showed his disappointment. 

"Permit me to help you," said the Spaniard, "I 
am to blame for detaining you at breakfast." 

"That is generous of you, Senor," replied Jim, 
"but I do not favor going to the expense of char- 
tering a steamer. Even if it were possible, my 
plan would be to follow along the coast on horse- 
back and see what can be done when they make a 

"As you are the General," replied the Spaniard, 
"we will allow you to make the plans." 

"Look!" exclaimed Jo, "they are turning South 
instead of North." 

"Impossible!" cried the Spaniard. "There is 
only one port within two hundred miles. I do 


not understand. Yes, they are surely going 

"Perhaps they have a secret landing place," 
hazarded Jim. 

"Not so," replied the Spaniard. "Not a harbor 
where they could land save one and there they 
would not dare to go." 

The three watchers on horseback gazed until 
there was little to be seen other than a smudge of 
smoke upon the horizon. It was no use, the Sea 
Eagle was holding to her southerly course to some 
mysterious port. The sun had now come out and 
was shining with sheer brilliance upon the spark- 
ling ocean. 

"We must return now," said the Spaniard. 
"There is nothing more for us to do at present." 

"I think that my brother and I will start this 
afternoon and take the trail to the south," an- 
nounced Jim, "wherever those fellows set foot, I 
want to be waiting for them." 

"I fear it is impossible to start so soon," replied 
the Spaniard, "I must go with you as I know the 
country to the South, every foot of it." 

"The Senor is right, Jim," put in Jo, quickly, 
as he saw a frown on Jim's face and was afraid 
that he was going to say something abruptly. 
"You will want to give Caliente a good rest, so 


that when we start, we will make the distance 
without delay. Then we have to make some prep- 
arations ourselves." 

Jim looked at his brother with a moment's dark 
suspicion, but it was evident that Jo was perfectly 
sincere in what he said. 

"I will promise, Senor," said the Spaniard with 
a peculiar smile, "that when we start which will 
be early tomorrow morning, that we will travel 
far and fast enough to suit you and your horse." 
There was a challenge in his voice that Jim met 

"So be it, Senor," he said, "I will try to be in 
sight at the finish." 

"My horse is a remarkable animal for speed 
and endurance, I must tell you frankly," said the 
Senor gravely. "He has no equal in this country 
of California. He has proved it more than once 
and against all comers." 

"He is certainly a fine horse," admitted Jim, 
looking at the sorrel with admiring eyes. "He 
has a splendid stride." 

"Ah, no, Senor," laughed the Spaniard with a 
gleam of his white teeth, "I did not mean him," 
patting the horse on the neck, "a good animal, in- 
deed, but more for my little sister to ride than for 


me. Wait, my friend, until I introduce you to 
Don Fernando and then you will see a horse for 
the first time." 

"I should be very much pleased to see him," 
said Jim, frankly curious and interested. 

"Tomorrow," said the Spaniard. 

They had now turned into the narrow trail 
among the bushes and had only ridden a few steps 
when Jo called a sudden halt. 

"What do you think, Jim, there's my horse and 
Tom's tied in that thicket." 

Sure enough there they were, utterly worn out, 
but with spirit enough to recognize their old com- 
rades Jim and Jo, and if ever horses expressed a 
welcome these two did when they first caught 
sight of their two friends. 

"They have cut the saddles to pieces, the 
brutes," exclaimed Jo. 

"I'm glad to get the horses," said Jim, "I am 
surprised that they didn't cut their throats." 

"They will follow us all right," said Jo, in reply 
to the Spaniard's suggestion that they would have 
to be led, and they trotted along behind Jo, who 
was the last one in line. 

"Do you know of any place where we could buy 
things?" asked Jim. "We need a new outfit." 

"But we have no money," put in Jo quickly. 

"I will get the money or its equivalent today," 
said Jim. "If there is a store where the Senor can 
get me credit." 

"Yes, there is a store where a Portugee sells 
about everything that we need in this country," 
replied the Spaniard. "It is some distance to the 
north. We will ride there before we return to 
the ranch. There will be no difficulty about the 
credit," he concluded, with a bow to Jim. 



"You do not know my ability to spend," said Jim, 
"I may have to plunge to the extent of several hun- 
dred dollars. You see my brother has very expen- 
sive tastes. It will cost quite a small fortune when 
I buy him a complete trousseau including dia- 

"I will pledge my lands if necessary to get the 
young Senor diamonds," said the Spaniard laugh- 

In about an hour's time they came to a large one 
story frame building painted a rather light blue, 
which color had weathered a good deal. It had a 
square, false front with a sign on it that read, "Mr. 
Gonsalves, General Trader." 

They hitched their horses to some well graveled 
posts, and went inside leaving Jo's and Tom's horses 
free to graze at will around, or to stand under 
the shelter of some drooping pepper tree across the 
road. The proprietor, a short, thick-set Portugee 
with a close trimmed black beard, and a gray slouch 


hat which he always wore, apparently, received them 
graciously. The contents of the store were en- 
tirely at their service, if they paid for them. 

"We will miss poor Tom here," said Jo, "he was 
always our purchasing agent." 

"And a mighty good one," added Jim. "Not even 
a Connecticut Yankee could get the best of him in a 

The Spaniard sat in a round armed wooden chair, 
gracefully smoking a cigarette, while his guests 
busied themselves making purchases. First the boys 
bought some new clothes, which they retired behind 
a counter to put on, and emerged in proper apparel 
for the plains. 

Blue flannel shirts, and pants of the same color, 
held up by leather belts, with much glitter of silver 
on them, then they bought a sombrero apiece, 
not after the Mexican style, but of the American 
type. Jim had a red band around his and Jo had a 

"Now we want some handkerchiefs to tie around 
our necks," said Jo. 

"Of course," remarked Jim with a wink, "some- 
thing that will catch the eyes of the ladies." 

So M. Gonsalves brought out a brilliant assort- 
ment of handkerchiefs. 

"Here's a very fine article, gents," he said hold- 


ing out a red silk handkerchief, clustered with white 

"Nothing the matter with that," admitted Jim ad- 
miringly, with a droll look at Jo. "But this plain red 
one will suit me. My brother would probably like 
the horseshoe one." But Jo also declined. 

"I will take the dark blue one," he said, "it 
matches my costume better." 

"Gee! but you will look like a color scheme," 
laughed Jim, "blue eyes, blue pants, shirt, tie and 
socks, and hat band, you ought to be a sailor on the 
blue Pacific." 

"The next things are boots," remarked Jo. 

"Not for me," said Jim briefly, "I want mocca- 
sins. Worn 'em all my life, and I am not going to 
change to boots now." 

"Fine line of moccasins," said the accommodating 
Mr. Gonsalves in his best trade manner. You see he 
had been in business in San Francisco and knew 
something of the ways of customers. 

"But it gives us more style to wear boots. You 
notice that all the inhabitants wear them, we can 
buy moccasins too. You wear them all the time and 
they will set you down for an Indian." 

"When a fellow once gets the idea of style in his 
head," said Jim resignedly, "nothing this side of 
matrimony is going to stop him. So lay on Mac- 


Duff and cursed be he who first cries hold, enough." 

"I feel like I was anchored," commented Jim, 
stepping across the floor with heavy tread. "I 
should like to stalk a deer or an Indian in these 
things. He could tell you were arriving before you 
got above the horizon." 

"But you look fine in 'em," said Jo. 

It was true that he made a striking figure in his 
blue togs. The lithe powerful physique, and the 
strong, resolute face. 

"Better look out, Jo," grinned Jim. "No Senor- 
ita would look at you, when they see me dashing 
over the landscape." 

"I'm a pretty stylish looking guy myself," re- 
sponded Jo, confidently. He did make a good ap- 
pearance, there was no doubt of that. Though 
slighter than his brother he was well set up, and his 
frame was well muscled. He was handsomer than 
Jim. But there was no nonsense about either of 
the two boys and they never gave an unnecessary 
thought to their appearance. 

"Now, Mr. Gonsalves," said Jim, "we would like 
to look at some of your man-killers." 

"Revolvers?" he questioned, "just step this way. 
I can fit you out all right." 

He did have a fine collection and Jim examined 


the different ones carefully, noting their action and 
how easily they worked. 

"I see you are no tenderfoot/' complimented the 
proprietor. "You have handled shooting irons be- 

"I'll be a tenderfoot before long, if I wear these 
condemned boots you sold me," said Jim gruffly 
ignoring the compliment. He did not care especially 
for M. Gonsalves' style. "Now let's have a look at 
your rifles." The proprietor actually took off his 
hat and bowed. 

It was evident that the distinguished gentlemen 
from nowhere in particular were going to buy out 
his entire stock. 

"Would you be so gracious as to step this way?" 
he said, "I have the rifles in the back of the store." 

They were so gracious, and after due examination 
they selected a couple of well balanced guns and 
purchased enough ammunition to stand off a few 
Indian raids. All the stuff besides what they had 
on their backs they packed upon Tom's horse, as 
Tom was not present to resent the indignity. 

"Now the last things are some saddles," said 
Jim, "seeing that our kind friends, the pirates, cut 
up those we owned." 

"Senor Darlington," said the Spaniard coming 
forward and touching Jim lightly on the arm, "Do 


not speak of buying saddles. I will see to that." 
Jim did not know exactly what their host meant but 
he thanked him and deferred to his request. 

Now behold the frontier boys in complete cos- 
tume, with glittering revolvers at their hips and 
rifles swung across their backs, upon their hands 
were fringed buckskin gloves. They had gone the 
whole hog as Jim said. 

"I'll take the shine off this costume in about one 
day," said Jim grimly, "when I get in the open, I 
would rather break a broncho, than a new suit of 
clothes." There was no doubt about his impressive 
appearance, as the sun flashed on the metal of the ac- 
coutrements and he swung himself into the saddle. 
Even their host seemed to hold them in higher re- 
gard. Different people, different manners. 

When they reached the house ranch the first thing 
Jim did was to find Caliente. He was in the long 
adobe stable that was a half-mile from the house, at 
the beginning of a wide mountain valley, where the 
air drew through from the sea. 

"How are you, Caliente old fellow," cried Jim, as 
he opened the box stall and went in to shake hands 
with his old comrade. But the horse leaped to one 
side, and then reared up as if to strike Jim. 

"He don't know you," cried Jo who was on the 
outside of the stall. "Take off your hat." 


Jim whirled it out of the stall, and a change came 
over Caliente. He recognized his master, and nick- 
ering in recognition he rubbed his head against 
Jim's shoulder, and took playful nips at his fine new 
shirt, while Jim fairly hugged him, and gave him 
resounding whacks with his open hand upon his 
splendid sides and shoulders. 

"A magnificent animal, Senor Darlington," said 
Senor Sebastian to Jim, "I congratulate you." 

It was a true word. Caliente with his proud neck, 
small but shapely head, powerful but not too heavy 
frame, and color of mottled gray was magnificent. 

All that afternoon Jim busied himself grooming 
his horse until his coat fairly glistened. He looked 
carefully to his feed, and saw to his watering. For 
Jim was determined that his horse should not be 
beaten by the Spaniard's. He knew that the latter's 
horse must be an unusual animal. It was not a short 
race, instead, one of two hundred miles that lay be- 
fore them on the morrow. 

That evening the American boys presented a bet- 
ter appearance than they did at breakfast. It was a 
pretty scene that evening in the long dining room. 
The snowy table lit by light of candles and set with 
ancient silver brought from Spain. The young 
Senorita was seated itt her brother's right, and on 
the other side were James Darlington and his 


brother Joseph. As to the impression she made 
upon them, we will say nothing, as this is not a ro- 
mance, but they had a merry and delightful evening. 
Their host and the young Senorita were much 
interested in hearing of the adventures of the boys 
in Mexico, especially that part that referred to 
the rescue of the Senorita Cordova from the hands 
of Cal Jenkins and his gang. I do not know that 
The Frontier Boys told it with any less fervor 
because the eyes of the young girl, seated op- 
posite, were fixed intently upon them. It appeared 
that their host knew of the Senor Cordova, who was 
a man of prominence in his country, though he had 
not actually met him. So there was one more 
bond of sympathy between the Senor Sebastian 
and James and Jo Darlington. 



Let us now turn our interest and attention for 
a time to the cruise of the Sea Eagle, under the 
guidance of that redoubtable free-booter, Captain 
Broom. It was a mystery to the three who 
watched the ship turn to the South, what her port 
could be. We will soon be in a position to solve 
that problem. 

No sooner had the Sea Eagle cleared the cove 
than Captain Broom went to his cabin to go over 
his spoils which he had taken from the frontier 
boys. He placed all the belts upon the table, took 
up one, and with a keen knife slit the first pouch. 
A large heavy Spanish coin rolled out and then 
clinked down upon the table. 

The Captain's eyes glistened. "By Gosh !" he ex- 
claimed, "it was worth while rounding up those 
fellows. They must have struck it rich down in 
Mexico. I bet the boys will be tickled to death 
to get their share." For whatever crimes and 
shortcomings Captain Broom could be charged 


with, at least he always divided fairly with his crew. 
Thereby he held their loyalty. It was not all 
policy, either, for there was a sterling streak in 
the bad old fellow. 

Out of the next pouch there glittered upon the 
table several diamonds and a small palm full of 
rubies, with their rich color and radiance. "The 
boys will have enough to start a jewelry store," 
commented the Captain. "But I am not surprised 
at this haul. I know something about the hidden 
treasures myself, and they do say Mexico is the 
the place for them." 

Out of another belt he got some ingots of gold 
and a girdle that caused the Captain to open his 
eyes. At first he did not know what to make of 
it. When he held it up he saw that it was formed 
of golden disks linked with strings of rubies and 
sapphires. In the third belt was a necklace that 
might have been worn by some Princess of the 
Incas. It was oddly, almost wierdly beautiful. 

The fourth belt that he picked up chanced to be- 
long to Jim. 

"This seems lighter than the others," remarked 
the Captain. "Three of the pouches are empty." 
His face got black with rage. For instantly his 
mind leaped to the suspicion that one of his men 
had rifled it. If such had been the case, the guilty 


party would have got short shift at the end of a 
rope from the yard arm. 

But the second examination showed that the 
cut was an old one. 

"So !" he cried, "one of the boys has cached part 
of his share. I bet it was that long-legged, black- 
haired guy. That fellow would give the best of 
us trouble. I wish I had him to train. Maybe, 
I can make something of the Injun boy," meaning 

As to the belts, the shrewd old fellow, to make 
sure, measured them to see where the worn holes 
of the leather came, and the partially empty belt 
had been worn two inches longer than any of the 

"It was the big fellow's," said the Captain. 

Then he went upon deck and called the crew 

"Now, lads, choose your man to get your share 
of the goods," he said. 

"It's Jack Cales, sir," they said, knowing that 
they would be called upon to select a man to take 
their share. 

"All right! Come, lad," said the Captain, and 
led the way to his cabin. When Jack Cales saw 
the treasures on the table, he opened his eyes and 
mouth in astonishment. 


"Why, Sir," he exclaimed, "we haven't seen 
anything like this since the day two years ago 
when " he stopped suddenly, seeing from a look 
in the Captain's eyes that no reminiscences were 

"This is your share, lad," said the Captain, 

"Thank you, sir," responded Cales, as he swept 
the small pile of gold and jewels into the palm of 
his big hands. 

"And mind ye, lad," warned the Captain, "I 
don't want any quarreling among yourselves or 
ye will hear from me." 

"Aye, aye, sir," replied the sailor and backed 
out of the cabin. 

There was an interesting gathering in the fore- 
castle when Jack Cales deposited his handful of 
treasures on the top of a sea chest that had been 
hauled out for the purpose. 

For once it was not necessary to have the Ian-' 
tern lit, for a broad band of sunshine shone down 
the steep ladder and cut a golden swath through 
the dingy gloom and fell athwart the chest and il- 
luminated the group: the tall and swaggering 
Cales, the rugged, grizzled Pete, and the other 
sailormen; a typical group and not to be matched 
for picturesqueness anywhere; with their faces 


intent upon the center of the old black sea chest, 
where glowed and glittered the gold and jewels in 
the band of light that shone upon some of the 
faces of the intent group, while others were in the 
shadow. It was a scene such as Rembrandt 
pardon, kind reader, I forgot for a moment, this 
is a simple narrative of Adventure. 

"Pete," said Cales, "how the ladies will love you 
when they see a chain of glittering diamonds 
around your throat." 

"One thing is certain, lad," replied the grizzled 
Pete, "I won't be givin' none of my diamonds 
away to the ladies. I'll keep the stones safe in my 

"You'll have to be keerful, Pete," rallied an- 
other, "they'll be marrying you for your ill-gotten 
wealth, when they find out that you are an heiress. 
You can't help yourself, Pete. It won't make any 
difference because you are a pirate, that won't 
scare 'em. Not when they see them jewels." 

"What's the use of you boys a talkin' to me," 
he said with a wise wink, "you're only kittens. I'm 
sixty year old and I'm a free man yit." 

"Here's a pill for you, Pop," said Cales, 
dropping a diamond into his horny hand. 

"Gee! I'm just as well pleased to get this as I 
was to get a bunch of popcorn when I was a kid 


back in New England, off the Christmas tree." 

"Better have it sot in one of your front teeth, 
Pop," said Jack. This produced a roar of laugh- 
ter, for Pete's front teeth were conspicuous by 
their absence. 

So the distribution went on without any bicker- 
ing at first, only jovial jokes, but at last there 
came a bone of contention over the last diamond. 
And in a jiffy Jack Cales and a short, stocky sailor 
were all tangled up in a fierce encounter. Their 
comrades, none too gently, hoisted them up on 
deck. There they continued their fight. 

No sooner did Captain Broom see them than he 
cluttered down from the bridge at a furious rate. 
The two combatants ought to have taken warning 
but they were deaf to everything except their own 
struggle. He was livid with anger, and his 
wrath was in a large measure justified. 

"I'll larn you!", he yelled, grabbing each by the 
back of the neck. "You won't fight any more this 

They were like children in his hands. He had 
not only the arms of a gorilla, but the strength of 
one when he was aroused and it was a caution the 
way he slammed them around, flaying the deck 
with them, and dashing their heads together. It 
seemed as if every bone in fneir bodies, woul& be 


broken. Finally he flung them unconscious on the 

"Put them in the Sagenette," he ordered the 

"Aye, aye, sir," he replied, and with the aid of 
one of the sailors, they were chained in a narrow 

Here was where Juarez and Tom came in. As 
the two fighters were knocked out and locked up, 
it made the crew short and they were ordered out 
on deck from the cabin where they had been kept. 
Almost famished though they were, they had to 
jump in and work like nailers, not to say, sailors. 

Fortunately for them, they had experienced a 
hard schooling in many different ways since they 
came west and were practical masters of several 
lines of industry, but this was their first experi- 
ence sailoring. It was a hard school, but they 
learned more in a few days, than they would have 
under months of more gentle tuition. This was 
to stand them in good stead when they started on 
their cruise to Hawaii. 

"I'll get even with those fellows," growled Tom 
as he passed near Juarez who was busy polishing 
some brass work. "Y<?s, if it takes the rest of my. 
lifp " 


"What do you mean, stopping and gabbing, you 
little shrimp?" roared the mate who chanced to see 
Tom stop. 

And he rushed up and grabbing Tom by the 
back of the neck, shook him ferociously, landing 
him a couple of kicks at the same time. This was 
too much for Juarez, who poised a stone that he 
was using and was about to brain the mate with it 
when the Captain's iron grip fell on his arm. He 
didn't throw that brick. 

"Easy, lad," said the Captain. "No more fight- 
ing on board this ship, or I'll take a hand again 
and don't you two lads pass the time of day either. 
You won't be killed if you work hard and keep 
cheerful." Then he gave the mate a look, which 
that worthy understood and Tom was allowed to 
go about his work without further molestation. 

But this was a new and hard doctrine that the 
Captain had laid down that the boys had to take 
hard usage and unceasing work and keep cheerful 
about it. They soon found that the Skipper 
meant what he said. It was a bitter lesson, but 
perhaps they were the manlier for learning it so 
young. For it's something that life hands out to 
everyone sooner or later. 

Often the boys looked longingly over ' the rail 
towards the faint, far outline of the California 


coast. The Skipper was keeping his ship far out 
from the land for reasons best known to himself. 
One thing was favorable in that the sea air had 
braced up Juarez so that he felt more like himself 
though his head was queer at times. And no 
wonder for that blow the Mexican dwarf had 
given him was sufficient to have stunned an ox. 



The Sea Eagle was steaming steadily South to her 
mysterious harbor. The day was a brilliant one and 
as the afternoon wore on the wind from the North- 
west began to blow with fresher force and the white 
caps began to jump, here, there and everywhere 
over the broad surface of the ocean, and then slide 
down on the back of the waves. 

There was a good deal of motion on the part of 
the Sea Eagle now, as she plunged into the waves 
and threw the spray back over her decks. Both 
Juarez and Tom proved themselves good sailors, 
which was just as well for if they had been sea sick 
together with their other miseries they might have 

Finally the long afternoon wore away and the 
time came for supper. The boys being neither 
flesh, fish or fowl, were not allowed to eat with the 
crew, and they did not mind in the least. When 
their rations did arrive, or rather when they went 


to the ship's galley and got their share, they 
found the fare not lacking in quality and abundance. 
There was a heaping plate of Mexican beans, a big 
hunk of bread and a bowl of hot tea. After the 
boys had stowed this below in their hatches they felt 
a hundred per cent better and more fit to meet any 
fate that might await them. 

An hour before sunset a heavy bank of fog be- 
gan to roll up from the West, soon covering the 
whole sky with its gracious softness, and decided 
restfulness, after the glittering blue-diamond beauty 
of the day. 

It is the fogs alone that make the climate of Cali- 
fornia, especially in the Southern part endurable. 
Too much sunshine becomes as unbearable as too 
much cloudiness. 

The sea went down, when the fog came up and the 
waters took on a steely color under their blanket of 
gray, rolling on, in that monotonous meditation 
that holds the mystery of forgotten ages in its 

"Here's where you will sleep, boys," said Old Pete, 
who had been appointed by the Captain to have 
special charge over their education. "The men won't 
have you in the fo'castle, and it's pretty crowded 
there anyway." 

"This will suit us, sir," replied Juarez. He did 


not call him Pop, as he would have on the land. This 
was the sea and had its own rules and customs, 
therefore Old Pete received his due of respect. But 
in his rough way he was not unfriendly towards the 
boys, for he remembered that they had given him 
friendly advice, when he was aboard that strange 
craft, a horse, the night before. 

The place where the boys were to sleep was a sort 
of cubby hole in the bow of the boat, that was roofed 
over and where anchor chains and other junk was 
sometimes kept. It was not over four feet high, 
five in width at the broadest and narrowing to the 

A rude place to sleep in, but what did the Frontier 
Boys care for that ? They could scarcely count the 
nights that they had slept out on the ground, and in 
bad weather too. They had a blanket apiece, and a 
tarpaulin to pull over them. 

The blankets they had spread out on the floor of 
the cubby hole and they found that the tar- 
paulin made a mighty warm protective covering, 
keeping out the damp sea air in fine style. 

"Where do you suppose we are heading for, 
Juarez?" inquired Tom. 

"Maybe a port in Mexico or South America and 
then again we may head for Hawaii before we in- 
tend to." 

'A DAY AT SEA 147 

"We are going South now, though," said Tom. 

"If we run in close to the coast, we'll jump over- 
board, and swim for it," said Juarez. 

"We could do it if we get within a mile," said 
Tom, "if it is not too rough." 

Just then Juarez put his hand over Tom's mouth, 
he felt sure that someone was listening or was pre- 
paring to. Juarez ran his fingers carefully over the 
boards until he found where a hole had been bored 
through the planking a little back of their heads. It 
was just as he had suspected, someone was listen- 
ing to hear what plans they would make. 

With the noiselessness characteristic of him when 
scouting, Juarez crept out partially and cautiously 
raised his head until he caught sight of the sole of 
a man's boot. Then he crept back to his place and 
gave Tom a nudge. Forthwith they began talking in 
rather loud tones. 

"Say Tom, do you know I rather like this ship. 
These fellows are rough in their way but that is to 
be expected." 

"Of course," said Tom, in an equally loud voice, 
"but we might as well make the best of it. There is 
no chance for the boys to find us." 

"You're right there, Tom." 

Then in a short time they appeared to fall into a 
deep and sonorous sleep. This was no fake on the 


part of Tom who was actually and thoroughly 
tired. But Juarez was more of a veteran and he 
kept his eyes open and he was rewarded in a few 
minutes by seeing a man's feet hanging ever the 
edge of their bunk house and then he saw the figure 
of the mate slouch aft. 

"You sly old rascal, you," remarked Juarez. "We 
will 'larn' you to try and be too smart with the 
Frontier Boys. We may be young but we are not 

Nothing happened for a while and the gentle 
plunge of the Sea Eagle into the long rolling swell 
soon lulled the tired Juarez into a sound sleep, so 
that neither he nor Tom were aware that the ship 
had suddenly changed her course. 

By and by however, Juarez waked with a start. 
Something had happened, he knew not what. He sat 
up and struck his head upon the planking overhead. 
Fortunately however he did not hit the place where 
the Mexican had struck him but at the best his head 
was a tender place with him and the blow stunned 
him, but as he was now more his rugged self, he 
soon recovered. 

He found what had wakened him was the stop- 
ping of the ship. He saw several dark forms moving 
aft and he crept out to see what was afoot. He 
had to move very carefully but managed to reach the 


hood of the forecastle, where he crouched looking 
and listening. 

He saw that they were lying to, close in to shore 
and could see the white splash of the breakers as 
they rolled towards the shore and could hear their 
monotonous thunder upon the beach. Here per- 
haps was their chance. Just then he heard the heavy 
voice of the Captain from the bridge. 

"Lower away there." Then the starboard boat 
slid noiselessly down from the davits into the 

Juarez got up and glided back into the cubby hole 
to tell Tom the good news. It was their opportunity 
to escape and seemingly a good one. The sea was 
smooth and the night was dark. They could slip 
over the side of the vessel and pull for the shore, 
and not a soul on the Sea Eagle would be the wiser 
until they looked into their nest in the morning to 
find it empty. 

Once they got to the shore it would be an easy 
matter to make their way North until they met Jim 
and Jo. 

The anticipation of the escape had already thrilled 
through every nerve in Juarez's body. But he had 
just started to wake Tom, when something made 
him look down the deck. There was the tall figure 


of one of the sailors coming directly towards the 

Juarez lay down quickly as though asleep. Then 
the man reached down and caught hold of Tom's 
foot and Juarez's and gave them a rough yank. "So 
you are here, you young brats. You had better 
make a move or the Cap'n will finish you." 

Juarez was fairly sizzling with rage especially as 
Tom was really frightened by being wakened in such 
rough fashion and after all Tom was but a boy and 
it pained Juarez to see him so scared, but he was 
helpless, and all he could do was to add one more 
black mark to the score he was charging up to the 

Instead of moving away, the man sat on a capstan 
a few feet distant from the boys' den, watching for 
the slightest move on their part, a marlin spike dang- 
ling playfully in his hands. Juarez had not taken 
the crafty and keen sighted Captain Broom into ac- 

From the Bridge, that worthy, although he was 
watching the launching of the boat, had chanced to 
catch sight out of the tail of his eye of a dark 
shadow flitting back to the forecastle. He was not 
sure it was one of the boys, but he was taking no 
chances, for he had a real respect for their prowess 
and audacity as he might well have. 


So he had sent one of his crew to guard this 
young lions' den, while the ship was so close in 
shore. He did not intend to stay longer than was 
necessary right at this point, and he waited with 
some anxiety for the return of the mate and Pete 
in the boat. 

It was now two o'clock in the morning and Cap- 
tain Broom wanted to be out at sea a good safe 
distance before the light broke. The mate's boat 
had now been gone over a half-hour, and the Cap- 
tain stood at the end of the Bridge looking towards 
the shore. There was not a light upon the vessel to 
show her position. She lay silent and black upon the 
dark waters. 

Then the Captain straightened up. He saw a 
moving body approaching the ship and heard the 
slight dip of oars. Then the boat was alongside and 
instead of two men, there were three in the boat. 
The Captain went down to the main deck to meet 



They met without any formality. The new 
passenger was a tall, slightly stooped man, with 
long hair falling down to his shoulders. Juarez 
was exceedingly anxious to see him, but could 
make out only a dark form moving along the deck. 

"Come to the cabin, Jeems," called the Captain. 
"I've got something to tell ye." 

They were soon seated in the Captain's cabin. 
This was a good-sized room, panelled in light 
wood and very neatly kept. There was quite a 
broad table of the same wood as the walls and a 
swivel chair in front of it. The Captain seated 
himself in this chair and whirled to talk to the 
visitor from the shore. 

It was evident that he was not a temporary vis- 
itor for scarcely had they seated themselves in the 
cabin than the Sea Eagle slowly and gently turned 
and they felt the pulsation of her engines as she 
headed once more for sea. The man was seated 
on a sea chest opposite the Captain. 


He wore long cowhide boots, with jeans pants 
thrust into their tops, flannel shirt of a nonde- 
script color and a corduroy jacket. His hat was 
of a battered gray. The face was smooth-shaven, 
deeply lined and burnt to a dull brown. The hair 
which came down to his shoulders had that pe- 
culiar sun-burnt weathered tinge that comes from 
continual exposure to the weather. He was not 
an old man, probably on the sunny side of forty. 

"Well, Jeems, what is your news?" inquired the 

"The government boat is in the harbor, that's 
all." The Captain gave a low, peculiar whistle. 

"When did she show up?" he asked. 

"Two days ago, Cap'n," he replied. 

"Come from the South?" 

"Yes," replied the man. "Put in for coal, I 

"Then put out for us," said the Captain briefly. 

"Any 'baccy, Cap'n? Been out two days," re- 
marked Jeems. 

"Lift your lanky frame off that chest," replied 
the Captain, "and I'll git you some." 

The man sprang up with remarkable alacrity, 
and as he unfolded length after length of his long 
figure, it seemed as if his head would touch the 
ceiling of the cabin. In fact, he did not miss it 


by many inches. It was a comical contrast be- 
tween the short stooping figure of the Captain and 
the tall stranger. 

"Waal, Jeems, I wouldn't advise you to grow 
any more, or I'll have to raise the roof of my 

"That's what, Cap'n," replied Jeems imperturb- 
ably. "That's what happens when you grow up in 
Californy. You grow all the year around, and not 
like in New England where the winters makes you 

Then the native philosopher seated himself on 
the chest again and took long and delightful pulls 
at his recently staked pipe. 

"Hum!" he said. "This tastes right. Did yer 
ever know what it war to be starved for yer 
'baccy, Cap'n?" 

"No," replied the Captain, "I can't say that I 
ever did." 

"Well, I want to tell you, Cap'n, that it is worse 
than going without water and I know what that is. 
Been on a desert till my tongue was as thick as a 
cow's, and hung out between my teeth, black." 

"How long have you been away?" inquired the 

"Three weeks, Cap'n." 

"How are the sheep lookin' ?" 


"Pretty fair, Cap'n," he replied. "I think that 
they had a whiff of rain over there a few days 

"It won't be long till we git the rains," sug- 
gested the Captain. 

"I don't know, Cap'n," remarked the lanky one. 
"The climate of Californy is a curious proposition. 
It's built on the bias down at this end." 

"How's that?" asked the Captain curiously. 
He had a certain interest in this particular cour- 
ier's theories, however he might laugh at their pe- 
culiarities. For there was apt to be a basis of 
reason in them. 

"Well, it's this way, Cap'n," said James Howell, 
to give him his correct name, thrusting one lanky 
hand deep into his jeans pocket and bending for- 
ward awkwardly. "It's this way. You see the 
storms come down from the North to the Tehatchi- 
pei mountains, where there isn't any way for them 
to get through to the south. Then the clouds 
shift around to Arizony, and if the wind is right 
they are blown through the passes of the Sierra 
Madre into Southern Californy, then we get the 
rain. That's why I said, Cap'n, that this dazzling 
climate is built on the bias." 

"Waal, Jeems, as a weather prophet you can't 
be beat," said the Skipper. 


"In my business I get plenty of time to think, 
Cap'n," he remarked, "and as they ain't much to 
see except climate I think about that." 

"Waal, I have a good sight more than that to 
consider," replied the Skipper. "I'm thinking 
right now about that government boat. I'm going 
on deck. You can turn in." 

The Captain showed him to an empty cabin and 
the lanky stranger proceeded to make himself 
comfortable for the balance of the night, while the 
Captain went up on the Bridge. 

"Where are you heading this boat to?" he 
asked gruffly of the man at the wheel. 

Then he took the helm himself and immediately 
the Sea Eagle's prow pointed to the Westward as 
if she were heading directly for Japan. How- 
ever, she held this course for only an hour and a 
half when the Skipper swung her bow once more 
to the South. 

Long before the morning broke, Tom and 
Juarez, hauled out of their resting place, were set 
to scrubbing the decks and rubbing them down 
with holy-stone. They waited eagerly for the first 
break of day to see where they were. 

Then the light came slowly through the fog- 
covered sky, showing a glossy sea with a slight 
swell and not a sign of land anywhere. The boys' 


hearts sank within them and they felt sure that 
they would not see their native land again. 

Once in a while they would glance up at the 
Bridge where stood the Captain with his powerful 
stooped figure. He was evidently on the lookout, 
for with his eye at a long glass, he kept scanning 
the sky-line to the east. What was he looking 
for? Juarez knew instinctively that he was afraid 
of pursuit. 

If only they could be overtaken and captured, 
his heart thrilled at the thought and he watched 
the Captain eagerly for the first sign of excite- 
ment. About ten o'clock he saw by the Skipper's 
actions that something of interest had come under 
his observation. 

There were a number of quick, sharp orders 
given and Juarez noticed the increased volume of 
smoke pouring from the stack. The Sea Eagle 
began to show the speed that was in her trim, 
black form. Juarez worked around the port side 
of the boat as rapidly as he dared, and his heart 
leaped with hope. 

He saw low upon the eastern horizon a smudge 
of black smoke. If he only had known what the 
Skipper knew, his hopes would have risen still 
higher. Certain preparations were going on up- 
on deck. The three cannon, one in the stern, 


that had fired the salute to the group on the shore, 
one on either side of the quarter-deck, were di- 
vested of their canvas jackets. 

They certainly gleamed bravely in their polished 
brass. Then the ammunition was got ready be- 
siide each separate gun. It begin to look like 
business. The Sea Eagle began to justify her 
name and fly through the water. Still the spot 
upon the horizon grew bigger. 

Then Juarez began to have a paralyzing feel- 
ing of doubt. The steamer, though coming up 
fast, did not seem to be steering the proper course 
to head the Sea Eagle, bearing on her port-quarter 
instead of across her bows as would have been 
the natural course if she wished to intercept her. 

Then the doubt in his mind was changed to dis- 
appointed certainty for the Skipper waved his 
hand to the mate, who was busy on the deck be- 
low. It was after he had taken a pull at the spy- 
glass, which this time seemed to have an intoxi- 
cating effect upon the Captain. 

"It's all right, Bill," he yelled, "It's nothing but 
a steamer bound for 'Frisco. It looks like the 

Juarez and Tom resumed their work doggedly. 
That was all that was left for them to do. They 


scarcely glanced at the big steamer as she ap- 
peared, growing constantly larger above the hori- 
zon, and then diminishing as she steamed North 
towards San Francisco. 

Juarez was scrubbing the deck near a cabin door 
when it suddenly opened, and a tall, long-legged 
figure stepped out and fairly over him. He came 
to the conclusion that it was the man who had 
come aboard the night before. 

He took in the tall, gaunt man with the smooth- 
shaven face and long hair at two glances one 
not being sufficient to his height. 

"Well, who are you?" he inquired lounging on 
the rail and regarding Juarez with mild-eyed in- 

"I'm Juarez Hopkins, deck scrubber. Who are 

"I'm James Howell, sheep farmer. I'll add 
you two lambs to my flock," he replied, whimsi- 
cally, glancing at, Tom who was down the deck 
a way. 

"You are more apt to find us wolves in lamb's 
hide," retorted Juarez. "Where's your farm?" 

"There," said the stranger, pointing with a long, 
bony finger on the port-quarter, "that nigh island." 

Then Juarez saw to his surprise, two islands 


that seemed to have sprung like magic upon the 
South-eastern horizon. The further one lay long 
and low and dark but distant beneath the fog-lined 
sky, the "nigh one" was more short and dumpy in 



During the afternoon, everything had been made 
ready for the journey of the morrow. There was 
not a great deal to be done for the three rescuers 
would travel light. There would be no need of a 
pack animal, because the Senor had assured the 
boys that they would find hospitality on the way. 

Jo however was in mourning because when he 
gave his black a trial gallop, it was discovered that 
he was badly lamed in the right knee. It would not 
have been safe for any of the pirate gang to come 
within range of Jo's wrath. 

"The cursed brutes stove him up for fair," he de- 
clared grinding his teeth. 

"I'm afraid it will take a month's rest before he 
will be fit," determined Jim. 

"Then I'm out of it," exclaimed Jo sorrowfully. 

"Not so, my friend," interrupted the Spaniard. 
"Take the bay. He is not as good a horse as yours, 
but he has great endurance. He is yours to use as 
long as you wish." 



Jo thanked the Spaniard heartily for his kindness 
and generosity. Then he spoke in a low voice to his 
brother. "How about that money, Jim? Don't for- 
get to pay the Spaniard for those goods we bought 
at the store." Jim spoke up. 

"Senor, I wish to show you a little something of 

Then Jim got his heavy saddle, on which he had 
ridden so many hundred miles. And the Senor re- 
garded it with interest, because of the carved leather 
workmanship which was of the finest and he was a 
connoisseur of such matters. 

"How much would you give for it, Senor Sebas- 
tian," inquired Jim, "if it were put up for pur- 

"It is a beautiful saddle. I would be willing to 
give a hundred dollars. It is worth it." 

"That saddle is worth several thousand, Senor," 
replied Jim confidently. 

"I do not understand," replied the Spaniard. "It 
is the personal value, I suppose." 

"I will show you," said Jim. 

Then he took from his hip pocket a heavy bone 
handled knife which he had bought at the store and 
pulled back the hoof cleaner, an instrument attached 
to the knife that was used to get a pebble or 
anything that had got 'into the horse's hoof. 


With this he worked at the leather that covered 
the high and rather thick horn of the saddle. Finally 
he pried the top leather flap off. There was a heavy 
piece fitted into the top of the horn. With some 
difficulty Jim got this out disclosing a hollow, in 
which was concealed most of the jewels he had 
found in Mexico. 

"Hold your hands, Jo. Tight now." And with 
the word he emptied the contents of the horn into 
Jo's palms. Diamonds, rubies, turquoises and some 
heavy gold pieces. 

"That is what you might call a horn of plenty," 
said Jim jocosely. 

"But!" cried the Spaniard in amazement, "where 
did you get these ?" 

"In Mexico," replied Jim. "This was what the 
Pirates were after. And they got all but this. 
Sometime I will tell you the story of its discovery. 
Now take this to reimburse 'you, Senor, for the 
money we spent at the store." And he held out the 

"That is far too much. That stone is worth five 
hundred dollars at least/' said the Spaniard. "These 
three rubies would be more exact and I will take 

Jim, handing over the three stones selected, said, 


"Now, Senor, you shall take the diamond as a token 
of good will from my brother and myself." 

"We insist upon it," chimed in Jo. 

Finally the Spaniard accepted the gifts with many 
protestations of obligation and appreciation. Jo 
was about to urge him to accept a jewel for his 
sister, but Jim stopped him, knowing that the proud 
Spaniard would not hear to such a present. 

The next morning they were up an hour before 
daylight and ate a hearty breakfast by the light of 
the candles. Veterans though they were, the boys 
felt a thrill go through their pulses as they thought 
of the expedition that lay before them. Outside they 
could hear the pawing of the impatient horses. 

"To the success of our expedition and the rescue 
of our friends !" was the toast the Spaniard proposed 
as they rose from the table. The Frontier Boys 
drank it, but not in wine. They felt just a little 
foolish too, but such is the reward that often comes 
with doing what is right. But they were sturdy in 
their determination to stick to their principles. 

If they had only known it, down in his heart the 
Spaniard respected them the more, even though it 
seemed odd to him. 

Then they went out on the verandah, fully armed 
and ready to take their departure. Two oil lamps 
near the door and fastened to the wall, backed by 


shining reflectors sent a strong light across the 
verandah and into the darkness outside. 

There stood the three horses, eager to be off, each 
one held by a Mexican groom. Caliente we already 
know, and the horse that Jo is to ride also. So let 
us take a glance at the third animal, Don Fernando. 
He evidently justified all the enthusiasm of his mas- 
ter, a truly splendid creature. 

A dark chestnut, as large as Caliente and built on 
something the same lines. They were beautifully 
matched except in color. It was with a thrill of 
pleasure that Jim swung himself into the saddle. His 
mount was in fine fettle and ready for the long pull 

They started from the home ranch with a thunder 
of hoofs in unison, the riders checking their 
horses to a slow gallop with a heavy hand. Together 
they pressed through the waning darkness. There 
was a wonderful exhilaration, as they leaped for- 
ward, the horses powerful and fresh. 

Instead of following in the direction of the morn- 
ing before, the Spaniard turned to the East until 
they came near the foot of the range. In a short time 
they came to a gate, which seemed to open mysteri- 
ously as they approached, but the motive power 
proved to be a small Mexican boy, whom the Senor 
had sent on ahead. 


Now they were on a turf road with bushes on 
either side and down this they thundered, Caliente 
the gray, and Don Fernando the dark, matching 
stride for stride, with Jo well in the rear. For he 
found if he rode close up he was blinded and stung 
by sods and stones thrown back from the flying 
hoofs of the two horses in the front. 

It was a bit lonely for Jo and he wished that one 
of the other boys was here to keep him company. As 
they rode, the bushes seemed to fly by as they do 
when you look from a railroad train and Jo was 
afraid lest his horse would be unable to keep the 
pace indefinitely. One thing in Jo's favor was that 
he was the lightest of the three and what is more to 
the purpose a very light rider. 

So like the good horseman he was, he determined 
to save his horse all he could and make him last out. 
For eight miles or more they rode without a stop 
until they came to another gate. This the Spaniard 
unfastened and swung open without dismounting, 
then closed it after Jo. 

The morning light was now distinct, although 
the fog was over the sky. Before them stretched a 
long level plain that broke into sand dunes near the 
sea. They could see the ocean lying dark in its 
monotonous level of color, to the Western horizon. 


"We have just left the Sebastian ranch," called 
the Spaniard. 

"It is immense," commented Jim. "May I ask 
how many acres it embraces ?" 

"It was immense in the old days," replied the 
Spaniard. "Before your people took possession of 
the land. It was held by no fences then. But your 
laws were not ours and we lost many square miles. 
Now there are fifty thousand acres under fence." 

"Fifty thousand acres !" exclaimed Jo. 

"Ah, but it was double that before the Americans 
came," replied the Spaniard. Then he glanced crit- 
ically at Caliente. "Your horse looks as cool as 
though he had been standing in the stable. The pace 
does not affect his wind either. Splendid condi- 

"Caliente is as hard as nails," said Jim proudly. 
"But your horse has wonderful speed." 

The chestnut seemed more on edge than the old 
warrior, Caliente, and tossed the foam from his bit, 
until his dark coat was speckled with it. 

"He is high strung," said the Spaniard, "but I 
would back him against any horse flesh in California. 
We can let them out here for a half dozen miles." 

"Let her go, Senor. I won't let you lose me." 

At the word the Spaniard gave his chafing horse 
his head and away the chestnut sprang in the lead. 


It was slightly down grade for a mile, then there 
was a gulch twelve feet wide and of considerable 
depth. It was a good jump and to make it saved a 
little distance. Going at top speed the chestnut took 
the jump in fine style. His rider half turned in his 
saddle to watch Jim's effort. Caliente had faced 
worse leaps than that, he rose to it and swept over 
it as gracefully as a bird. 

"Good fellow !" exclaimed Jim patting him affec- 
tionately on the neck. 



When Jo saw the gulch ahead, he decided that 
discretion was the better part of valor as he did not 
know his mount well enough to risk the leap, so he 
galloped a few hundred feet below, where the gulch 
narrowed and then he took the jump nicely, and 
scampered after the other two riders who were quite 
a way ahead. 

Jim purposely held Caliente in check, keeping a 
hundred yards in the rear of the Spaniard. Ahead 
a few miles, there was a perfect sea of yellow where 
the tall mustard covered the plain for a great dis- 
tance. Into this they charged full tilt, the mustard 
reaching as high as their heads. 

There was a swish of its blossoms in their faces as 
the powerful horses charged into it and in spite of 
their strength they began to tire after going some 

"Where is Jo ?" inquired Jim suddenly after they 
had slowed down, "I don't see a sign of him." And 


he rose in his stirrups looking over the level lake of 

"Hello, Jo," he yelled at the top of his voice. No 
answer came. Could he be drowned in this lake? 
There was not a motion to indicate his where- 
abouts, no waving of the yellow tops. 

"It is very strange," said the Spaniard. "Did he 
cross the gully all right?" 

"Yes, I saw him take the jump below us a ways." 
Then Jim raised his revolver above his head and 

"That ought to fetch him," he said. Then they 
listened intently. Suddenly about a quarter of a 
mile ahead of them they saw a sombrero rise like 
a gray mushroom above the yellow surface of the 
mustard, and Jo's voice came back to them. 

They both gave their horses the rein, this time Jim 
did nothing to hold Caliente back, and with their 
powerful speed the two great horses tore forward, 
on even terms until in the last hundred yards Cal- 
iente forged ahead by half a length. 

"Hold on boys/' yelled Jo in warning. "Don't 
on even terms until in the last hundred yards Cal- 
horses up. There was Jo sitting quietly. on his horse. 

"That's how you beat us," exclaimed Jim, pointing 
to a cow trail running diagonally through the 
growth of mustard. 


"Yes," laughed Jo, "I struck it further down after 
I jumped the gully. Otherwise you fellows would 
have lost me." 

"Good work, Jo," said Jim. "Now we will have it 
easier going." 

So in single file they galloped along the path, until 
they found themselves by noon, at the foot of a spur 
of mountains that extended from the main coast 
range to the ocean'. Jim regarded this barrier in 
their way with a practised eye. 

"This will slow us down, Senor," he said. "It 
looks like a pass below there, about two miles." 

"Yes," said the Senor," we can get through there 
all right, but it is pretty rough going." 

They had to advance more slowly now, as the 
ground was broken into stony ravines, and there was 
a good deal of brush. In this kind of country Jo's 
horse more than held its own with the bigger an- 
imals, for he was as nimble as a goat. 

"I hope we will find water, Senor," remarked Jim. 
"Our horses are pretty dry now." 

"Yes," replied the Spaniard, "there is a good 
spring at the foot of the Pass." 

They found it all right, in the entrance to the 
Pass, where there was a small green cove, sur- 
rounded with bushes, and on one side was a sheep 
herder's shanty. Jo investigated this immediately 


and found nothing in it but the charred remnants 
of a fire and a pair of discarded overalls. 

Jim, who had himself been looking around, made 
a more important find. 

"There has been somebody here recently," he an- 
nounced. "Here are some tracks around the spring 
and not over twelve hours old." 

"Yes, I have no doubt," said the Spaniard care- 
lessly puffing at his cigarette. "This Pass is used 
occasionally by ranchmen and herders." 

"There have been five or six horses here," said 
Jim, whose experiences had made him suspicious. 

"There are no Indians," said Jo, "in this section, 
at least none who are on the warpath." 

"I supose you do have cattle rustlers, Senor?" 
inquired Jim. 

"Yes, there is a band of outlaws," replied the 
Spaniard, "that raids from as far north as our 
ranch, south to San Diego, but we have seen no 
trace of them for many months." 

"Then, Senor," remarked Jim, "it is about time 
that they paid you another visit." 

"Ah, Senor Darlington," exclaimed the Spaniard. 
"We Castilians do not reason so. We say that there 
is no trouble today, why worry about tomorrow. 
Perhaps these bandits may have starved to death, or 
been hung, or the good Padres may have persuaded 


them by the fear of Hell, to become quiet, sheep rais- 
ing citizens. God knows." 

"I fear that they are raising sheep in their old 
style," grinned Jo. The pun glanced off the Span- 
iard harmlessly. 

"The theory that they may be hung, sounds plaus- 
ible, Senor," admitted Jim. "But before we advance 
into the Pass., I will scout a little." 

"If the Senor pleases," responded the Spaniard 

"Do you chance to know of a small, hunch-backed 
Mexican who is more or less in this section of the 
country, Senor ?" Jim suddenly inquired. 

The Spaniard flushed with red anger and spit em- 
phatically on the ground. 

"You give him into my hands and I will reward 
you well," cried the Spaniard. 

Jim made no immediate reply but gazed thought- 
fully at the ground. He was considering the case. 
This was not the time to turn aside in a chase for 
even so desperate a criminal as the hunch-backed 
greaser. So he made no definite reply to the Span- 

After the horses were fed, and watered, and while 
Jo was looking after the coffee, Jim started off, to 
do a little scouting up the Pass. The first thing that 
he did was to slip off his heavy riding boots, which 


the stylish Jo had forced him to buy, and to put on 
his noiseless footed moccasins. 

Then with his revolver loaded and ready to his 
hand, he went swiftly and silently up the trail that 
followed through thick brush, gradually working up 
the side of the mountain. It was no difficult task to 
follow the tracks of the horses. In a half hour's 
swift climbing he came to the top of a stony ridge, 
over which the trail curved, and dipped down the 
other side. 

Jim now saw that the Pass was an irregular one 
with recurrent spurs, thrusting out from the 
mountains on either side, at quite frequent inter- 
vals. There were innumerable chances for ambus- 
cades. Jim did not stand in the trail but to one side 
partially hidden in a thicket. 

All the time his keen eyes were taking in the can- 
yon below, not however admiring the scenery. In 
fact there was nothing particularly beautiful, or in- 
teresting in the view. In the Rockies and further 
South too he had seen canyons incomparable to the 
rather ordinary ones that he had seen in California. 

Jim was watching for some slight movement of a 
living creature in the canyon. Finally he gave it up, 
and was about to turn away, then he gave a start, 
he saw one, two, three, men crouch across the trail, 
a quarter of a mile below, and disappear into the 


thick (brush. He was almost certain that the first 
one was the hunch-back. 

That was all that Jim wanted to see. He noise- 
lessly took the back trail, thinking over the best 
course to pursue. He would have liked nothing bet- 
ter under ordinary circumstances than to fight it out 
with the outlaws and to capture the hunch-back. 
But their first object must be the rescue of Tom and 

Was there not some way by which they could get 
to the South without going through this bandit in- 
fested Pass? 

"Well brother, what didst thou find ?" inquired Jo, 
who was at times pleased to be dramatic. 

"Very few specimens in the way of bandits," re- 
plied Jim. 

"As I said, Senor," remarked the Spaniard, "they 
have become good citizens." 

"Not yet, I am sure, because they are alive." 

"That is a good one, Jim," remarked Jo, appre- 
ciatively, but the Spaniard was politely mystified. 
"Same as Indians." 

"I found one thing out," said the diplomatic Jim, 
"and that is, that the Pass is a hard one on horses. 
Are you sure, Senor, that there is no easier way 
than this to get through?" 

"Positive," briefly responded the Spaniard. 


Jim who was seated on .a rock digging his heel 
into the soft earth, looked up as a sudden idea struck 
him, but without knocking him out. 

"How far is it from here to the sea, Senor?" he 

"Not over five miles." 

"Can we not get around that way ?" Jim inquired 

"Why, yes," replied the Spaniard slowly, "if the 
tide is not coming in. In that case we should be 
drowned." Jim glanced hastily at his watch. 

"We can try for it and make it, if we do not 
waste any time," he said. "The horses have had a 
good rest." 

"Very well, Senor/' said the Spaniard resignedly. 
He regarded Jim as an amiable hurricane whom it 
was not worth while battering to resist. Jim hastily 
swallowed his coffee and a hunk of bread and in five 
minutes the three musketeers were in the saddle 



In spite of the rough going, they made good 
time for the five miles, spurred on by the constant 
anxiety lest they should not reach the beach before 
the tide began coming in. There were several 
gathered to see them off when they left the mouth 
of the Pass, but not to give them a send off. 

A short explanation will prove this. It is not 
to be supposed that the hunch-backed Mexican 
and the bandits did not know that the three horse- 
men were coming over the plain of the mustard 
growth. Indeed, their scout, the Mexican dwarf, 
saw Jim, Jo and the Spaniard when they first 
landed in the entrance to the canyon. 

He had gone back to report to the bandits 
their coming, and after Jim had returned, they 
had prepared the nicest trap imaginable near 
where Jim had been hiding. They had had numer- 
ous experiences in that line and were perfectly 
qualified experts. The spider and the fly was 


nothing to the arrangements they had made to re- 
ceive their supposably unsuspicious guests. 

You can imagine the surprise and disgust of the 
bandits and their scout when they saw the three 
horsemen ride in an entirely different direction 
than that they had looked for. Talk about con- 
vulsions, you should -have seen these desperadoes 
express their disappointment. It was terrific. 
Not a saint in the long calendar was left un- 

How Jim would have enjoyed the performance. 
But entirely oblivious to this, Jo, Jim and the 
Spaniard were riding rapidly towards the sea. 
Before an hour had passed, they had ridden be- 
tween the rounded sand dunes and then out upon 
the hard, smooth sand of the beach. 

"This is splendid going, Senor Sebastian," ex- 
claimed Jim. 

"It is all right," he replied, "if the sea does not 
get hungry too soon." But the sea appeared to be 
in a very pleasant mood and the white breakers 
had withdrawn as far out as it was possible to get. 
It was such a smooth smiling sea with the laugh 
of its little sparkling waves that it seemed that 
there could be no possible harm in it. 

"I never saw a road that was better than this !" 


exclaimed Jo in delight. "It is perfectly springy 
and no dust or mud." 

It deserved all of Jo's praises, this broad, firm 
California beach. The brown sand, that had been 
pounded down by the force of the great rollers 
some hours before, showed scarcely a sign of the 
shoes of the horses. 

There was plenty of width and the three horses 
pressed on abreast, the powerful sweep of the 
gray Caliente and the chestnut Don Fernando, 
and the snappy, nervous leaps of the little bay that 
Jo was riding. With the bracing sea air and the 
exhilarating speed, the three musketeers were in- 

The Spaniard hummed a gay ballad, while at 
times Jim's heavy bass and Jo's lighter treble 
were joined in a rollicking American song. They 
laughed without reason, for the simple joy of being 
alive and on the move; but as pride sometimes 
goes before destruction, so happiness often goes 
before disaster. 

It was a small matter too, but it made for 
trouble. The Spaniard's horse stepped between 
two small rocks that were close together and 
wrenched .one of his hind shoes nearly off. Jim 
and Senor Sebastian hastily dismounted. Of 
course they carried with them the necessary things 


to fix the shoe on again, but even then it was a 
question of a number of minutes. 

"You had better ride ahead, Jo," urged Jim. 
"Your horse is beginning to tire and we will over- 
take you, when we once get started." 

"It is a good idea," joined in the Spaniard. 

"All right," acquiesced Jo readily enough, and 
he gave his bay the rein, riding slowly down the 

Then the two began operations on Don Fernan- 
do's hind foot. Here they found their first real 
delay. At the point where the accident happened, 
the mountains came down quite close to the sea, 
so that they were crowded in much closer than 
they had been. The nearness of the water made 
the big chestnut restless and hard to handle. 

The Spaniard had great difficulty in getting 
near enough to his horse to get hold of his hind 
foot. When he did succeed in doing this, and 
was just starting to peg the shoe on, an extra big 
wave slapped down upon the beach, though at a 
safe distance and caused the big chestnut to jump 
and hurl his master to a distance of a dozen feet. 

"This won't do," cried Jim. "I'll take my horse 
around to the sea side of yours and close up. Per- 
haps that will give your animal confidence." 

It worked like a charm, for though Caliente was 


high-spirited, he was not flighty and he steadied 
his comrade so that the two workers were able to 
fasten the shoe. 

"We have lost a good half hour," said Jim, look- 
ing at his watch with a grave face. 

"Perhaps we shall have to turn back," remarked 
the Spaniard with gravity. "We may not escape 
the incoming tide if we go on." 

"Don't you believe it," cried Jim, impetuously. 
"I've got business ahead and must go." 

"Have it your way," said the Spaniard with a 
peculiar smile. He knew what dangers lay ahead 
with a rising tide and Jim did not or he probably 
would not have been so insistent. 

"I see no sign of Jo," remarked Jim, as they 
swung into the saddles. 

"Ah, we will not catch him. He is safe," re- 
plied the Spaniard. 

Then with tremendous speed, they swept down 
the beach, the splendid horses responding to the 
crisis. It was their fleetness against the steadily 
rising rush of the inexorable sea. They actually 
gained ten minutes on the first two miles and a 
half. Then Jim saw ahead the dark form of a 
headland thrusting out towards the sea. 

Already the rush of a long wave would send the 


water lapping around their horses' feet. Jim 
recognized the danger. They must get around 
that promontory or give up beaten. Then he gave 
Caliente a touch with a spur, the first that day. 
With a snort, the spirited animal sprang forward 
faster than before and at his shoulder was the 
chestnut with flaming nostril. 

None too soon had they reached the headland, 
for the recurrent waves were beginning to surge 
against it, with full force and gnawing foam. In 
the fierce fury of their charge, they sent their 
horses against the sea. It was at the long with- 
drawal that made bare the scattered black rocks, 
that they rounded the headland. 

But too soon a great thundering wave with the 
force of the Pacific behind it came roaring in 
and swelled to the horses' throats, almost sub- 
merging the riders. But the animals held against 
its withdrawing power and before the ocean could 
return to the attack, they had got beyond the head- 
land to a safe place on the beach. 

The horses were trembling and quivering with 
their exertions and with the fear of the sea 
which is the most terrible and paralyzing of 
all fears. Jim drew a long breath of relief and 
looked ahead to see if there was any sign of Jo. 


Then to his consternation he saw that the beach 
curved inland and at the further end of the curve 
was another frowning headland thrusting itself 
out somewhat further than the one they had but 
just rounded. 



Let us now return to the Sea Eagle, and find out 
what is happening there. 

You recollect that Juarez had just discovered two 
islands lying on the South-eastern horizon, the one, 
long and low, the other comparatively short and 
dumpy. He had been conversing with the tall shep- 
herd of the island, who seemed to take an interest in 
Juarez. But because of his isolated life during a 
greater part of the year, he would have taken an 
interest in a stone idol, if he had chanced to dis- 
cover one. 

"Which of these islands are we making for?" in- 
quired Juarez. 

"The one where we land," replied the sheep far- 
mer oracularly. "I might ask the Cap'n, only I never 
pester him with questions. You aren't a Yankee, 
are you?" 

"No," replied Juarez, "I'm not. My folks J< ve in 

Western Kansas." 



"I'm glad to hear it, son. But what are you doing 
here?" he asked. 

"You aren't a Yankee, are you ?" inquired Juarez, 
quizzically. The man laughed softly to himself. 

"You've got me there, lad," he said. "It looks to 
me," he continued, "that the old man is going to 
steer for the further island." 

"Then you will have to swim for your home," re- 
marked Juarez. 

"I can wade," he replied whimsically, looking 
down at his long legs. 

"You are a humorist," said Juarez. 

"No, you can put me down for a philosopher, 
that is to say, a man who has much time to think 
and nothing to do." 

"I should like to be one," said Juarez. "Suppose 
you holy-stone these decks while I try it." 

"No, my friend," replied the shepherd, "I am too 
much of a philosopher to make any such swap." 

"Is Captain Broom one?" asked Juarez. 

"Well, he is a sort of a philosopher till he gets 
mad, then he becomes a living active volcano, belch- 
ing out a lava of hot language and scorching things 
generally. I guess that I had better be moving along. 
I see that he is eyeing me from the Bridge, and he is 
likely to get active any moment if I keep you from 
working. 1 ' With this the lanky shepherd strolled 


forward and seating himself upon the top of the 
boys' sleeping place in the bow, smoked his pipe in 
meditative comfort. 

His estimate in regard to the destination of the 
Sea Eagle proved to be correct. For in the early 
afternoon the ship passed under the lee of the long 
island and was steaming up the channel between it 
and the mainland, which was distant some thirty- 
five miles. 

The fog had cleared by noon, and there was that 
complete transition to brilliant, sunny weather. 
There was a sort of a white haze along the distant 
coast and beyond far inland, rose the faint summits 
of the high mountains. 

Fortunately Juarez and Tom had a chance to 
observe their new surroundings for they had been 
set to work sewing on a small sail that was to be 
used in one of the boats. They sat upon the top of 
one of the hatches, under the watchful eyes of old 
Pete and the philosophic gaze of the shepherd. 
Sewing was one of the accomplishments of the 
Frontier Boys. They had been obliged to learn. 

"What is that particular bronze looking weed, 
floating in these waters?" asked Tom. It was as 
Tom phrased it, bronze and a most beautiful color. 

it was indeed a giant among weeds ; just such as 
the garden of the ocean would grow. The stems 


were fifty to eighty feet long, with peculiar colored 
leaves eight to ten inches in length, growing on little 
boughs from the parent stem. The whole structure 
was held up by small bronze buoys, of a round shape. 

"Well as ye seem likely boys and want to learn, 
I'll tell you about this plant," said the shepherd. 
"The scientific fellows call it Algae. When the 
world was first made this algae covered the whole 
surface of the ocean." 

"How did you learn this ?" asked Juarez. 

"You know that the Captain is quite a collector, 
and in his travels has gotten together among many 
other things some interesting books. He gives them 
to me when convenient." The face of the lanky 
shepherd was perfectly grave when he spoke of 
Captain Broom as a collector. 

"What makes the water so clear around here?" 
asked Juarez. "I never saw anything like it." 

"Well, you see," replied their mentor, "this island 
is placed peculiarly, I mean this side of it. You 
see how quiet the water is?" 

"It is certainly smooth and blue," said Juarez. 
"More like a lake than the ocean." 

"That's only true of this side," resumed the 
shepherd, "the other is rough enough, but you see 
the prevailing winds are from the North-west and 
this shore is never disturbed. So on the beaches 


you will find not sand, but smooth round pebbles, 
because there is no action of the water, no breakers 
or waves to grind them into sand." 

About four o'clock the Sea Eagle came into a per- 
fectly beautiful little harbor, at the South-eastern 
end of the island. There was a small level plot 
back from the beach and on all sides rose steep hills 
and back of them the mountains. It was the most 
picturesque scene the boys had ever beheld in all 
their travels. 

What would they not have given to have been free 
to roam that island, hunting inland, or fishing or 
bathing along those quiet, enchanted shores. But this 
was no pleasure excursion. Far from it. Captain 
Broom had his own ideas, and he did not intend 
to make a landing at all. 

"Get the whale boat ready, lads!" he ordered. 
"And put her over, we've got no time to lose." 

They lost no time either, under Captain Broom's 
commanding eye. 

What was necessary for the cruise was already in 
the boat. Two casks of water, several guns, and a 
lot of provisions. Then the boat was hove over- 
board into the quiet bay. The captain was ready 
with a much battered satchel in his hand. Not for 
one second did he entrust it to any one else. 

"Now over with you, you two lads," he com- 


manded and Juarez and Tom, with a sinking of the 
heart, got into the boat. This was the last leg of their 
mysterious journey, and it boded them no good 
they felt sure of that. The mate they noticed stayed 
aboard in charge of the ship. 

They were put in the stern where old Pete had the 
steering oar. Near them sat the shepherd on one of 
the casks of water, his long legs getting uncertain 
accommodation. The captain had his position in the 
bow and two powerful sailors were at the oars, one 
on either side. They did not sit down, but stood up 
to their work. 

Without any loss of time the boat got under way 
proceeding seaward from the shelter of the beautiful 
little harbor. In spite of their depression, the two 
boys could not help being interested in the absolutely 
clear water in which they could look down for 
eighty feet. 

They could see the straight slender columns of the 
Algae rising to the surface, starting from where 
they were rooted in the bottom of the bay and sway- 
ing to the slow pulsation of the tide. These strange 
plants of this marine garden were marvels indeed. 
Between their stalks and among the encrusted rocks 
swam in absolute unconsciousness of being watched, 
many beautiful, and strange fishes. 

Some were small of golden hue, with little spots 


of a marvelous blue (poetry) that flashed like keen 
electric dew. (that will do). Others were like gold 
fishes, a foot in length and of corresponding 
breadth. There were long mackerel, and innum- 
erable minnows, and over the rocks a peculiar little 
fish crawled or rather walked on thin rat-like feet. 
Before they had time to observe further the boat 
had got out of the harbor where the water sunk away 
to blue unfathomed depth. When clear of the har- 
bor, they turned to the South, passing near a cove 
with a symmetrical pebbly beach, built up for five 
feet, above the level of the water. The ocean was 
perfectly smooth, with not a ripple upon its surface. 
They were evidently making to round the Southern 
extremity of the Island. 



Ahead of them was a rock rising fifty or sixty 
feet out of the water. It was evident that the rock 
was inhabited for there could be seen dark forms 
moving around upon it. Nothing had been said 
since they started, for the Captain was not in a 
talkative mood. Jeems Howell, the shepherd, had 
sat silently smoking his pipe in philosophic content- 

"What are those things on that rock?" inquired 
Tom, his curiosity getting the best of his reserve. 

"Two yankees in this boat," commented the 
shepherd. "Those are seals, son. Didn't you ever 
see any before ?" 

"No !" admitted Tom. 

"You didn't know that seals, next to humans, are 
the smartest animals, in the world." 

"Is that so?" inquired Juarez. "They certainly 
are sleek." 

"They have got the most brain room, that's a 



The boys regarded the seals with peculiar interest 
as the boat passed near the rock. They were moving 
about awkwardly by means of their flippers, moving 
their sinuous necks this way and that and re- 
garding the strange boat with their soft brown eyes. 
Then they dived headlong into the sea, swimming 
about with a peculiar grace. 

"Queer animals," remarked Tom, "belong half to 
the sea and half to the land." 

"Something like sailors," remarked the shepherd. 

"What's the Captain going to do with us ?" asked 
Juarez in a low voice. The shepherd's face took on 
a solemn expression, but before he could reply the 
Captain's voice roared. 

"None of that, you'll find out soon enough. You 
can talk about the flory and fauny, with long shanks, 
but don't let me hear anything else out of you," such 
was the Captain's ultimatum. 

But soon matters grew so interesting that they lost 
all inclination for talking. When they got near the 
Southern end of the island they began to notice 
white caps to the Southward, dotting the darkness 
of the sea. 

"You lads will have to hold tight now in a few 
minutes," remarked Howell. "Do you get sea- 

"No," replied the boys. 


"Well, you will have a chance soon, and if it don't 
fetch you, nothing will." 

So far they had been rowing under the sheltering 
lee of the island whose huge rocky bulk had shoul- 
dered off the charge of the wind-driven seas. Now 
before they had fairly rounded the island the charac- 
ter of the water began to change. The boat began to 
toss on the great rollers. Then as they cleared the 
land for good and were in the channel, a fresh gust 
of wind struck them, drenching the occupants of the 
boat with spray. 

The Captain stood up in the bow of the boat and 
steadying himself took in the conditions of the sea 
and wind. There was nothing in his grim weather- 
beaten face to show what he felt. The men at the 
oars now made hard work of it against the head- 
wind and the running sea. 

They would climb up a steep wave and then with 
a sickening slide, go down into the hollow, then with 
a lusty pull the sailors would bring the heavy boat 
over the toppling crest of wave to find another rush- 
ing to meet them. No rest, this was what made it 
such heart breaking work. 

The early fog had come, covering the sea with 
gloom, and the waves did not go down perceptibly. 
At times, they shipped a good deal of water and 
Tom and Juarez were kept busy bailing out. After 


an hour's hard struggle the sailors were about all 
in and seemed hardly able to hold their own against 
the sea and wind. The Captain was quick to notice 

"Can you row, lad?" he inquired of Juarez. Now 
the latter's experience had been confined to his work 
going down the Grand Canyon of Colorado, on the 
raft-boat that the Frontier Boys had built. 

Even the old ocean itself could not show anything 
worse than some of the rapids that the boys had run. 
As for rocks, nothing could beat the canyon for 

"I'll try, sir," he replied, "I've never rowed on the 

"Humph!" grunted the Captain, "take the star- 
board. And you, you lazy long shanks, you take the 
other oar." 

"All right, sir," replied cheerfully, the one ad- 

"Get out of here, Pete," he cried, giving that 
worthy a lift with his foot that landed him on top of 
Tom, "I'll do the steering. You boys will only have 
to pull, that's all. I'll keep her headed up right." 

Fortunately Juarez was in fine condition, or he 
could never have stood the gruelling work ahead. 
He weighed one hundred and sixty pounds and there 
was not an ounce of fat on him. Likewise he had 


had a sound night' s sleep and three square meals 
so that he was f orti fied for what was ahead. 

Juarez buckled to the task with all his strength, 
and he was glad of the chance to get his blood in 
circulation for he was chilled to the bone by the fly- 
ing spray, and then too, anything was better than 
thinking of the fate ahead. He was surprised to 
find out that the shepherd who appeared rather 
frail in physique was able to keep up the pace. 

But he had that sinewy length of muscles that 
counts for more than mere bunchy thickness. 
Juarez was crafty enough not to spend all of his 
strength in the first fifteen minutes of work. He 
liked this, fighting the sea and standing on his feet 
he was able to put the whole leverage of his body in- 
to the stroke. 

The change in speed was noticeable right away, 
and the boat began to pull ahead steadily. The two 
sailors who had been laid off from exhaustion, had 
watched Juarez with a sneering grin as he took the 
oar. They were sure that the first wave that came 
along would wrench the oar out of his hand. Great 
was their surprise when they saw him buckle to the 
oar, rising and pulling at the right time to meet 
the toppling, rustling seas. 

"That little shrimp will last about ten minutes," 
said one of them to his mate. 


"Sure, Bill," replied the other. 

Juarez choked back a hot reply, for he knew that 
it would not be good for him to say anything to them. 
They were in the majority and would get him if he 
did, besides making it bad for Tom. The ten minutes 
passed and Juarez was just beginning to warm to 
his work. This took the wind out of their sails 

The powerful hand of the Skipper at the steering 
oar was a great help, for now all that the two men 
at the oars had to do was to pull and not to worry 
about keeping her headed right. Juarez kept 
steadily at it for an hour and then darkness began 
to fall over the channel but not until the island that 
they were approaching had begun to loom up, dead 

They were now getting in the lee of the strange 
island and the sea was moderating perceptibly. At 
this juncture the two sailors who had become 
thoroughly rested took the oars from Juarez and his 
co-worker and pulled steadily through the gathering 
gloom. In a short time the bulk of the island 
loomed above them in the darkness. 

Not a word was said, only the swish of the sea 
was heard and the groaning of the oars in the locks. 
Tom and Juarez were deeply depressed and gloomy. 
They felt exactly as though they were being taken 


to prison and could sympathize with sailors who had 
been marooned on lonely and desolate islands. 

"Easy now, lads," called the Captain, as he brought 
the boat's head squarely around towards the shore. 
"Two strokes," he yelled, "and let her run." 
With great force they pulled the oars in succes- 
sion, then they shipped them in a hurry. Juarea 
could see the dashing of foam on either side of the 
boat where the waves smote the rocks. There was a 
roar in his ears as the boat rushed toward seeming 
sure destruction. It was going with great speed 
from the impetus of the sailors' strokes. 

The Captain was standing taut at the steering 
oars, his eyes piercing the darkness ahead, then the 
foam of the breakers dashed in their faces, there 
was a quick sliding past of dark rocks and before 
they could draw breath again the boat was in quiet 
water, under some black cliffs. At last they had 
reached the mysterious goal of their mysterious 



We must now go back in our narrative to where 
we left Jim Darlington and the Spaniard, Senor 
Sebastian, in a position of extreme peril, between 
the cliffs and the deep sea, with the white-fanged 
tide coming in like a devouring monster eager for 
its prey. 

"Is there a chance, Senor?" cried Jim as soon 
as his horse gained his footing. 

"It is the fatal day, I fear," replied the Span- 
iard with resigned hopelessness. "The sea is hun- 

"As for that, so am I," declared Jim coolly. "So 
let us try to get around the headland and after that, 

"As you please," acquiesced the Spaniard quiet- 


Then Jim turned Caliente's head and with a 
quick touch of the spur sent him full stride along 
the curving beach, followed closely by the Span- 
iard. Already the heavy waves were licking far 


up the slant of the sand. Even the veteran Ca- 
liente seemed nervous at its approach, while Don 
Fernando would jump and shy as the hissing wa- 
ter crept around his feet. 

In about two minutes the two horsemen reached 
the base of the rocky headland that barred their 
way. It was a desperate moment, there was 
but one thing to do and that was to take the 

"Better be drowned quick, Caliente, old boy," 
cried Jim, "than slowly, but we'll beat you yet," 
and he shook his clenched fist at the ocean, and 
whirled his horse to meet a wave that struck 
Caliente breast high. So for a moment, the two, 
boy and horse, stood facing their powerful enemy, 
The Sea, that came with the recurring charge, 
its evenly separated files robed in blue with white 
crests. Thus they stood getting a full free breath 
before they leaped into the ranks of the foe. 

Jim's strained, keen gaze took in every detail of 
the situation, noting the position of the rocks that 
a receding wave left bare, so that he might find a 
clear path or trail in his dash for life. Nor did 
his gaze flinch as he saw the advancing wave 
break against the front of the cliff. 

"Now, Caliente," yelled Jim, with a sense of 
fierce determination and exultation that communi- 


cated itself to his horse, and lifting his feet free 
from the stirrups so that he would not be en- 
tangled, if Caliente should fall, he headed him 
seaward, galloping fast down the beach upon the 
heejs of the withdrawing wave. 

Meeting a smaller inrush of water and dashing 
through its foaming crest, his gallant horse swam 
until he got a foothold upon the rocks at the base 
of the cliff. Now was the crucial moment. With 
absolute recklessness, Jim urged his powerful 
horse over the foam-covered rocks, striving to 
get around the prow of the headland before the 
charge of the next wave. Not one look did Jim 
give seaward, all his energies were bent upon 
using every precious second, and Caliente was 
filled with his rider's indomitable spirit. 

Then above them towered the fatal wave, and 
with a confused roar, it broke over them in swel- 
tering foam and they were swept towards the 
black front of the cliff. Then came the impact 
against the rock and the next moment, stunned 
and bruised, Jim holding to the pommel of the 
saddle, with a death-grip, was carried out to sea 
with Caliente in the grasp of the retreating wave. 

It was all over, as like pieces of drift, horse 
and rider were swept away, but fortune does 
sometime favor the brave and, being caught in a 


powerful current, Caliente was carried South of 
the headland and his progress towards the sea was 
stayed by a rock that rose high, an outer-guard of 
the headland. So then the next great wave bore 
them toward the beach, and once Caliente got his 
feet upon the sandy bottom he braced himself 
against the fierce pull of the retreating sea, striv- 
ing to drag him back again. 

Though almost unconscious, Jim clung to the 
saddle with his body half-drooping over the pom- 
mel. Then Caliente plunged blindly forward un- 
til he stood with head bent down and nose almost 
touching the sand, his great sides heaving, but 
safe at last. 

In the distance, a horseman could be seen com- 
ing at full gallop along the straight line of the 
beach. It was Jo, who finally had become fright- 
ened by the non-appearance of his two comrades 
and had turned back. His fright had been in- 
creased by seeing a horse and rider coming appar- 
ently out of the sea. 

When he came up, he found his brother Jim 
sitting on the sand still half dazed but slowly com- 
ing to himself. 

"Where's the Senor, Jim?" cried Jo. This 
question served to bring Jim completely to him- 
self. He got up, looking pale, with one side of 


his face bruised to a real blackness, and the flesh 
of his left hand badly torn, where it had struck 
the cliff, but he was not thinking of these matters. 

"Why, Jo, the Senor came after me. Where is 
he?" Then it came over him all at once, that his 
companion was even now caught between the jaws 
of the black cliff. 

"We must get to him, Jo," he cried. 

"But how did you ever get around that cliff?" 
asked Jo. 

Already it was an awesome sight as the waves 
crashed in foam against its front and rushed shore- 
ward along its black sides. It seemed impossible 
that only fifteen minutes before Jim had actually 
come around that foaming headland. 

In reply to Jo's question, Jim threw his arms 
around Caliente's neck with warm affection. 

"This is the old fellow that pulled me through," 
he cried. "But we must go to the help of our 
Spanish friend." 

"How can we?" inquired Jo. "We can't get. 
around the headland unless we become fishes." 

Jim considered the problem carefully. One 
thing he was determined on and that was not to 
leave the Spaniard who had been so hospitable 
and helpful to them. 

"No, we can't go around by the headland," he 


determined, "but we might be able to find a way 
over the rocks and down on the other side." 

"All right, I'm ready." 

"Let's find a place for Caliente first," advised 
his owner. Back a short distance from the beach 
there were some trees on a lower spur of the 
mountain. Here Jim brought Caliente and took 
off the saddle and bridle. 

"Now make yourself comfortable," said Jim. 

Caliente, in seeming recognition of what was 
said, took immediate advantage of the invitation 
and rolled heartily in a dry and dusty spot. 

"Get your lasso, Jo," urged Jim, "and we will 

So together they made for the steep rock and 
soon reached the base of it, and now began a hard 
climb, but no more difficult than they had encoun- 
tered before in their travels. 

"Do you recollect, Jim," inquired Jo, "that day 
you got stalled in our first canyon in Colorado, 
when you tried to imitate an eagle and fly up 
a precipitous cliff and we had to get you 
down ?" 

"Oh, yes, I remember," replied Jim, "and how 
I scared you and Tom by pretending that an In- 
jun was after me, when I went down to the creek 
for water." 


"Poor Tom," said Jo sadly, "I wonder when we 
will see him again." 

"In a couple of days," stoutly declared the op- 
timistic Jim. 

They were now going up the face of the cliff, 
the lariats over their shoulders, and searching 
with careful feet for a foothold, while their hands 
clutched some piece of projecting rock. 

"Lucky this rock isn't rotten," cried Jo, "or we 
would find ourselves stuck headfirst in the sand 

"Like an ostrich," said Jim. "We couldn't do 
much in a place like this without our moccasins, 
that's certain." 

The moccasins did make them nimble as goats, 
and they not only made possible a secure hold, 
but they protected as well the feet. At first they 
were not in any grave danger of a fall because the 
drifted sand at the bottom of the cliff would have 
made a soft landing. But after a while they were 
forced to work their way out over the rushing wa- 
ter, then if they had slipped and fallen it would 
have been all up with them. 

It seemed as if the sea, furious at having lost 
Jim a short while ago, was making fierce efforts 
to get at them now. The great waves foamed 
against the cliff and the spray dashed over the 


boys, making the surface of the rock treacherous 
and slippery. 

"I can't bear to look down," said Jo. "It makes 
me dizzy." 

"Look up, then," Jim called back. 

"That's almost as bad," replied Jo. 

"Keep 'em shut then," was Jim's command. 

Finally they came to a place that stopped Jo en- 
tirely. Jim was able to get over it, because of his 
superior height and reach, and he attained a point 
of safety above Jo. 

"What am I going to do now?" cried Jo. "I 
can't go any higher and it is impossible for me to 
go back." 

"You wait," urged Jim, "till I get a secure foot- 
hold above here." 

"Oh, I'll wait," said Jo grimly, "you don't ob- 
serve any anxiety on my part to move, do you?" 



Finally Jim reached a broad ledge, that gave 
him an excellent foothold, and he got his lariat 
ready and dangled the loop under Jo's nose. 

"What are you going to hang me for ?" inquired 


"For a horse thief, I reckon," replied Jim, "that 
bay don't belong to you does it, Mister?" 

"Meaning this ocean bay?" queried Jo. 

"I certainly will hang you for that," retorted 
Jim, "Now get the loop under your armpits." 

"All ready," cried Jo. 

Then Jim, bracing himself, kept a taut line on 
his brother, and with this help he was able quite 
easily to get over the slippery, bare belt of rock, 
and in a few moments was safe with Jim on the 

"It won't take us long now," said Jo, "to get 
to the other side." 

"Let's give him a yell," suggested Jim, "to let 
him know that we are coming." 


Then Jim put his hands to his lips and cried : 

"Senor, ahoy." They listened breathlessly and 
in a few moments came a faint reply. This put 
renewed energy into the boys and as the way was 
now easier, they leaped ahead, agile as goats, and 
had soon reached the top of the cliff. They looked 
eagerly down. 

There was the deep short semi-circle of the 
little bay with the waves heaving in against the 
cliffs and at the point midway between the two 
head-lands, where the beach was highest, they saw 
the Spaniard on Don Fernando. Already the en- 
croaching waves were gnawing at them. 

It was only a question of minutes now, and 
horse and rider would be carried out to sea. The 
Spaniard sat like a statute. It was seemingly pos- 
sible for him to have made his escape up the cliffs, 
which were not overly precipitous, like those Jim 
and Jo had just scaled, but he was a fatalist and 
believed that his day had come. Perhaps he did 
not want to abandon his horse, in which his pride 
was centered. 

"Cheer up, Senor, we'll be there," yelled Jim. 

Then followed by Jo, he sprang forward, leap- 
ing from rock to rock, and from jutting point to 
opportune foot-hold. It was dangerous and daring 
work, but the life of their friend was at stake and 


the boys were not the kind to consider their own 
safety at such a time. 

It was only their sure-footedness and varied ex- 
perience in climbing that saved them from broken 
limbs or possible death. In a remarkably short 
time, they stood upon a ledge above the Spaniard. 

"Here, Senor," yelled Jim, "catch the rope." 

He did as ordered but called up, "Is there no 
way to save my horse?" 

Jim considered a moment, then shouted: "All 
right, yes, we will save your horse, too. Tie the 
ends of the lasso to the iron rings at the ends of the 
front cinch." This was a broad, strong band, 
which would furnish a good purchase, when Jim 
tossed down the lariat. The Spaniard caught it 
and made it fast as ordered. 

"Now, fasten this under your arms," ordered 
Jim, as he cast down the second lariat, which be- 
longed to Jo. They then drew up the Spaniard to 
safety and he appeared to be pleased in a quiet way 
but not at all enthusiastic. 

"I am your eternal debtor, Senors," he said with 
a courteous bow. 

"How was it you did not follow me, Senor?" 
questioned Jim, "when I sailed around the head- 


"Don Fernando balked," replied the Senor. "I 
thought, too, that you had been drowned." 

"Came near it," replied Jim. "I would, too, if 
it had not been for Caliente." 

"But my poor Fernando, he will be drowned," 
cried the Spaniard, now much more excited about 
the safety of his steed than he had been for his 
own. It did look rather bad for the big chestnut, 
as a large wave swelling in, almost took him off 
his feet. He began to neigh wildly. 

"Don't worry, Don, old boy," cried Jim to the 
frightened horse. "If you will help yourself." 
There was something in his voice that seemed to 
reassure the animal. 

"Now, Jo, we will let you down by the lariat 
and get the bridle reins over his head and help 
him get a foothold on that ledge below us. He 
will be safe enough there, even if he does get 
somewhat damp." 

"Let me go. It is my risk for my horse," urged 
the Spaniard. 

"It is no risk, Senor," replied Jim. "You are 
heavier than my brother and stronger and can do 
more good on this ledge with me." 

"The commands of the General !" said the Span- 
iard with a low bow. "I see your plan is good." 


"We will tie this end of the lasso to the tree," 
said Jim, "so you will feel perfectly safe, Jo." 

The tree referred to was a sturdy, gnarled cedar, 
growing on the ledge. Then Jim swung his 
brother off and with every confidence in the 
strength of the lariat to hold, Jo made his way 
quickly and safely down, while if he had been 
without the rope he would have doubtless fallen 
into the water below. 

A wave surged in, submerging him, and then 
started triumphantly to carry him out to sea, but 
when the lariat pulled taut Jo struggled safely 
back on the rock, while the wave went grumbling 

"Catch the bridle now, Jo," urged Jim. "Don't 
waste any more time swimming." 

Thus adjured, Jo grabbed the bridle reins and 
pulled them over Don Fernando's head, and braced 
himself on the rock above. All was ready now, 
and the two above held the loop of the lasso that 
had been tied at the cinch, with both hands, and 
they pulled together. Again a big wave swelled 
in towards the cliff, which gave the frightened 
horse a big boost. 

Then, with Jim and the Spaniard pulling might- 
ily from the ledge above, and Jo giving the big 
chestnut a purchase by a steady pull upon his 


bridle, the horse scrambled with a mighty clatter 
and all his frightened energy up the sloping rock. 
The lariat and Jo's work helped a whole lot. 
Without the three, he would never have made it. 

Before the next wave swept in, Don Fernando 
stood, trembling and dripping, but safe, upon the 
lower ledge. He seemed above the danger point 
now, though an unusually big wave welled up 
around the horse's fetlocks and the spray was con- 
tinually dashing upwards. 

"He is all right now," cried Jim, "better come 
up, Jo, where it is dryer." 

"Haul in then," replied Jo, and then he was 
landed safely on the ledge. 

"Caught a speckled trout," exclaimed Jim in 
happy humor again. 

"Referring to my freckles, I suppose," grinned 
Jo. "If I'm a fish, I reckon Don Fernando is a 

"Do you suppose he is safe?" inquired the Span- 
iard anxiously. 

"Who, Jo?" 

"Ah, no," said the Spaniard smilingly. "I mean 
the Don. The water seems to be rising." 

"You may rest assured that he is safe," replied 
Jim. "It is the turn of the tide now, and it is only 


a westerly wind that makes it appear higher. All 
we will have to do now is to wait." 

"It is a great pity, this delay," said the Span- 
iard warmly. "You are anxious to be on to the 
rescue of your brother and his friend. Anyway, 
I hope you will succeed as well in their case as 
you did in mine." 

"In another hour we will be able to start," said 
Jim, "the tide will then commence to run out." 

"Where shall we stop tonight?" inquired Jo. 

"Camp in the open as usual," replied Jim. 

"I hope we will get up above the sea so high 
that it won't come within a mile of us," said Jo, 

"As to a place to stop, I will see to that," said 
the Spaniard. "Do not give yourselves any un- 
easiness on that score." 

"It's getting kind of chilly roosting up here," 
remarked Jo, plaintively, "especially as the fog is 
coming in." 

"I'll warm you," said Jim. "Put up your 

"You'll take the counts if I put up my Dukes," 
said Jo, who was an inveterate punnist. 

"Shut up," yelled Jim, giving his brother a 
hearty chug in the chest. Then they went at it 
hammer and tongs, giving and receiving good 


hard blows, and after ten minutes of whaling at 
each other, both were plenty warm. The Span- 
iard looked on in mild wonder. 

"You Americans love the hard exercise," he 
said. "I should think you would have great pleas- 
ure in resting awhile." 

"I got the best of the bout," declared Jo. "See 
how black and blue your face is on this side." 

"You didn't do that," protested Jim. "That 
was a wallop that old Neptune handed me when he 
bumped my head against yonder cliff." 

"Neptune! Yonder cliff!" jeered Jo. "You 
ought to be a story writer and use fine words." 

"Me a story writer!" growled Jim. "I aint got 
so low as that, not so long as I have got two hands 
to steal chickens with." 


"Do you not think, Senor Darlington, that it is 
now safe to start ?" inquired the Spaniard, who was 
fearful of bloodshed, not quite understanding the 

"Certainly," responded Jim, "we will get Don 
Fernando down from his perch and proceed." 

This proved to be an easier task than getting him 
up. His master lowered by the rope to his side, one 
scrambling leap and the horse was on the firm wet 
sand of the beach, almost knocking his master over 
in his eagerness to be on safe footing again. Don 
Sebastian now showed the gay side of his nature, as 
he vaulted into the saddle. 

He swung his hat wildly, the blood mounting to 
his face, and the horse seemed to feel the sting and 
excitement of his master's mood, as he pranced, 
danced and caracoled upon the sand and ended up 
by bowing in unison with his master to the two 
American lads, who were looking on with interest 
and amusement. 

Then the party made their way quickly along the 


curve of the beach and went around the fateful 
headland with perfect safety, while quite a distance 
out among the hidden rocks snarled the defeated 
ocean. Then Caliente heard them coming and he 
quickly raised his head, neighing in welcome to Jim 
and his comrade, Don Fernando. 

Jim gave him a vigorous hug for more than ever 
he was fond of his faithful horse. In a few minutes 
he had him saddled and away the three horsemen 
thudded in a swift gallop down the beach. The 
horses fairly flew, the wind of their speed tossing 
their manes back. It was cool beneath the fog 
laden sky and the refreshing sea air seemed to 
give the horses tireless endurance. 

Soon three miles had spun backwards under their 
hoofs and the boys were filled with the joyous ex- 
citement of the run. It seemed now that every stride 
of the horses was bringing them nearer to the 
hoped-for rescue of Tom and Juarez. And this was 
an incentive to their energy. 

"Here, friends, is where we branch off from the 
beach," cried the Spaniard. 

Then he turned his horse to the left and headed 
straight for a wooded spur that extended from the 
range to the shore. In a short time the three came 
to a well-traveled trail and were soon riding through 


the semi-dusk of the woods. For two miles they 
went up a steady grade. 

Then they rounded the summit of the wooded 
ridge and saw stretching far below them in the in- 
distinct dusk, a wide plain bounded on the West by 
the blue darkness of the level sea with its rim of 
yellow sand. 

"We will soon be at the home of my friend, Senor 
Valdez," said the Spaniard, "where we will spend 
the night." 

"I'm a lovely looking object to present itself in a 
civilized home," protested Jim, "I look like a tough 
who has been in a bar-room rush." 

"You are my brave friend," said Senor Sebastian, 
quietly, "and will be welcome." 

Jim blushed, at least one side of his face did, the 
other was already too deeply colored to show any 
emotion, and he grinned sheepishly. Before he had 
time to reply they swept into an open driveway, 
carefully sanded, and drew rein in front of a long, 
low white adobe house, that from its mountain ter- 
race looked over Plain and Sea. 

Out came Senor Valdez to receive them, a stately 
Spaniard, who furnished the boys with an ideal of 
perfect courtesy ever after. To the end of their 
days they remembered their first visit to the home 
of Senor Valdez. How they did enjoy their dinner 


that evening in the long, pleasantly lighted dining- 

It was an excellent meal, with delicious soup, a 
salad garnished with peppers of the Spanish style, 
and garlic. Jim and Jo had never tasted anything 
equal to it. Besides there were frijoles and lamb, 
while the dessert was some slight and delicate con- 
fection of jelly and cream, made by the hands of 
the Senora Valdez. 

"I feel wicked sitting here and eating this fine 
meal," said Jo, addressing Jim in a low voice, 
"when Tom and Juarez are being ill used and prob- 
ably starved." 

"Well," replied Jim, who was always practical, 
"I think it is better to eat, and to keep my strength 

"I guess it won't fail," commented Jo slyly. 

The boys bore themselves well, and without any 
diffidence though Jim had a whimsical recollection 
of his bruised side face and blackened eye, and he 
tried to keep it turned from the Senora Valdez, the 
fragile little woman who sat at the end of the table 
opposite her husband. She 'had snow white hair, 
parted low over her ears and the pallid face was 
lined with years. Very gentle was the Senora Val- 
dez, but she had in her time beheld scenes of car- 


nage and terror, so Jim need not have worried 
about his bruised face. But the wise old lady 
noticed his solicitude and understanding, was the 
more gracious to the young Americano because 
of It 

That evening they sat on the piazza, that looked 
out towards the sea, the Spaniards smoking and 
Jim and Jo enjoying the music of a guitar played 
by a Mexican in a dim corner of the verandah and 
the boys heard a bit of important news. 

"There was a mysterious ship put into shore 
several miles South of here, late last night, Senor," 
said their host, "one of my shepherds brought me 

"The first scent of the trail," cried Jim eagerly. 
Then the Senor Sebastian explained to his friend 
more fully the objects of their search. Immediately 
the listener was deeply interested. Then he sent for 
an Indian, one of his trusted men, to come to "him, 
and gave him minute instructions about some mat- 
ters. Without a word the Indian turned and dis- 
appeared in the darkness, and in a short time there 
came the sound of a horse galloping full speed down 
the road. 

"Tomorrow, Senor Darlington, this Indian will 
meet you at a point near the Puebla de los Angeles, 


which my friend knows and he will have all the in- 
formation there is obtainable as to the location of 
this ship and its crew," thus spoke the Senor Val- 
dez. Jim thanked him with deep fervor for his un- 
usual kindness, but the Spaniard made light of it 



As they sat there in the dusk of the verandah, 
Jim would have liked to ask his host to re- 
late some of his experiences in southern Califor- 
nia for he felt sure that the Senor Valdez had 
known something of adventure not only because 
those early days were full of marvels of interest, 
but there was something in the bearing of the 
old Spaniard that spoke of former days of romance 
and of stirring incidents. 

Then, too, there was something in the after-din- 
ner content and quiet, following the perilous 
adventure which they had been through that pre- 
disposed the boys to listen to a good story of adven- 
ture. Their friend, the Senor Sebastian, seemed 
to divine what *was passing through Jim's mind, 
for he suddenly spoke, breaking the meditative 
spell that had fallen upon the group on the piazza. 

"It just occurred to me, Senor Valdez, that our 
friends here might like to hear something of the 

early days in this part of the country, for you of 


all men know it thoroughly and I am sure it would 
interest them." 

"Indeed, it would, Senor," cried Jim enthusias- 
tically, "it was in my mind to ask Senor Valdez to 
tell us of the early days but I was afraid to im- 
pose upon him/' 

"I feel greatly honored to think that you young 
men would care to hear anything my poor tongue 
could relate. It would hardly be worth your dis- 
tinguished attention." Jim made due allowance 
for the courteous exaggeration characteristic of the 

"Try us, Senor," he said briefly, "we would 
want nothing better." 

"I will have the coffee brought first," replied 
the Senor, "that may serve to stimulate my dull 

In a short time a softly moving servant brought 
out a tray of coffee cups, and placed one before 
each guest on a small wicker table. Jim noticed 
these cups with immediate interest. They were 
certainly beautiful and he had never seen any- 
thing like them before. They were of a won- 
derful blue, each one, and had a coat of arms 
in gold with raised figures on it; a scroll above 
with a Latin motto, and beneath the representation 
of a wild animal couchant. The Senor Valdez was 


quick to see Jim's interest and respond to it. "That 
is the coat of arms of my family," he explained. 

"I am not a scholar, Senor," said Jim, "and 
all I can make of the motto is that it has some- 
thing to do with a lion." 

"You are quite right," the ghost of a smile 
hovered around the white-fringed lips of the 
Spaniard, at Jim's innate boyishness. 

"That figure does not look exactly like a lion," 
remarked Jo frankly. 

"Not like an African lion certainly," replied the 
Spaniard, "but a lion nevertheless, such as one finds 
yet in the mountain fastnesses of Spain, something 
like a panther only larger and much more fierce." 

"The lion seems to have a rope or chain around 
his neck," commented Jim, "and fastened to a 

"Quite so," responded the Spaniard, "likewise 
the motto translated reads, 'Gentle as a Lion.' " 

"Rather strange way of putting it," said Jim curi- 

"I will explain, for you would naturally be 
puzzled by the phrase, 'Gentle as a Lion,' as it 
seems to contradict common knowledge," said 
Senor Valdez. "You see my family has the dis- 
tinction, if such it can be called, in these modern 


days, the distinction of being old. This coat-of- 
arms dates back to the eleventh century." 

Jo was about to give a prolonged whistle of sur- 
prise when Jim gripped his knee to enforce silence, 
for though Jo might mean all right, the Spaniard 
might not understand. 

"The founder of the family who flourished at 
that time was a rather rugged character, and I am 
afraid would regard the family representatives of 
this day as very puny and unworthy specimens. 
This Rodriquez de Valdez had his castle in a 
rugged mountainous part of Spain, where there 
were plenty of wild animals and of wilder and 

fiercer men, bandits and freebooters without num- 

"His castle was a very powerful one, not only 
in construction but likewise in location, as it was 
built on a shelf of rock above a deep chasm, with 
precipitous cliffs behind it. However, Rodriquez 
de Valdez spent but very little time behind the pro- 
tection of its powerful walls. It would take the 
forces of some strong Duke from the lowland to 
cause him to seek the shelter of his castle and to 
raise his war banner of crimson with a blue cross 
upon it, above the turret. 

"He spent his days hunting among the moun- 
tains for wild beasts or for marauding bands of 


lawless men. Rodriquez was a man of wonderful 
strength, even for those days, when there were 
giants in the land. In stature six feet five and 
powerful in proportion and likewise very fleet of 
foot. If I should tell you of some of the legends 
of his strength and swiftness, you would probably 

"But the one that has to do with the coat-of-arms 
of my family I will tell you. It chanced one day 
that he was out in the wilds of the mountains 
and quite alone. Intent upon the trail of a deer 
that he was following along a shelving mountain 
side, he did not see a lion half grown, but never- 
theless very dangerous, which was crouching on 
the branch of a tree ready to spring upon him when 
he got beneath it. 

"When he had passed by under the tree a pace 
or two, the lion sprang with distended claws. 
Some instinct of danger made Rodriquez turn and 
he was just in time to grapple with the brute, 
clutching it by the throat. The lion had some 
advantage in weight but not a great deal, for my 
brave ancestor was probably three hundred pounds 
of sinew, bone and muscle. So that the struggle 
was not such an unequal one, but it was terrific 
while it did last. Finally, though torn and bleed- 


ing, the man subdued the beast, and had it in abject 
fear of him. 

"Then instead of killing the lion as one would 
naturally expect, Rodriquez took a strange humor- 
ous notion into his head. He would make a pet of 
this same lion and it should be his dog to follow 
obediently at its master's heels wherever he went. 
This idea he carried out and he even had a heavy 
brass collar placed upon its neck, and it followed 
him on all his trips, slouching with padded tread 
at his heel, or behind his war horse as he rode 
abroad, like a powerful yellow dog. 

"I do not imagine that the beast ever had any 
great amount of affection for his master, but he 
no doubt was in great fear of him, which seemed 
to answer the purpose quite as well. So, my 
friends, you have a full and complete explanation 
of the coat-of arms of my family. My only fear is 
that I have wearied you with what could not have 
the same interest for you as it does for me." 

"Indeed, you have not wearied us, Senor," ex- 
claimed Jo enthusiastically. 

"That is one of the most interesting accounts 
that I have ever listened to," said Jim. "I only 
wish I could have lived in those days when there 
was plenty of adventure." 

"I do not think that you have any reason to com- 


plain," remarked the Spaniard laughingly. "Per- 
haps your descendants in future years will be 
pointing out your daring deeds as emblazoned on 
their coat-of-anns." 

"No danger of that, I guess," laughed Jim, 
"though they might have a picture of Jo and me 
tied to a mule. That was the way old Captain 
Broom treated us." The Spaniard joined in the 
merriment at this unheroic representation of Jo and 

"Now, Senor Valdez, you have told us a tale 
of old Spain, tell us something of new Spain here 
in California," urged Jo. 

"It seems to me that it is now someone else's 
turn," said the Senor. "I would not do all the 
talking. A host should sometimes listen. Perhaps 
Senor Darlington will tell us of some of his ex- 
periences. They will be much more stirring than 
any musty tales of mine." But Jim shook his head 
firmly, not to say obstinately. 

"I would not think of telling our adventures," 
he replied. "Perhaps after we have travelled more, 
we will have something worth while relating." 

"That's right," said Jo, "we would much rather 
listen to you, Senor." 

The Senor Valdez sipped slowly at his coffee, 
looking out into the semi-darkness beyond the ve- 


randah, where over the plain below stretched the 
gray blanket of the fog-clouds. Then he rolled 
another cigarette, lit it and took a few meditative 
puffs. The Senor now began his next story at a 
peculiar angle, and did not commence with the 
stereotyped form of "once upon a time," so dear 
to the days of one's childhood. 

"I see you do not take cream in your coffee," 
he said addressing Jim. 

"No, but I like some sugar, not too much." 

"It has seemed to me," said the Spaniard, "that 
the seasoning of coffee is in a way an indication 
of character." 

"Where the party uses milk in his coffee that 
indicates weakness, does it not, Senor?" inquired 
Jim with a sly look at Jo, but the subtle Spaniard 
was not to be trapped. 

"Not necessarily," he replied, "only mildness." 

"And when it is taken straight and black that 
means a strong character," remarked Jo. 

"You have stated it," replied the Spaniard. 

"But I would like to know how I would be sized 
up ?" questioned Jim, "you see I use a little sugar." 

"My friend," said the Spaniard with playful 
earnestness, putting his hand lightly on Jim's knee, 
"that shows a character of great strength, tem- 
pered with mercy and human kindness. All of 


which leads one to speak of a man who was once 
famous in this part of the country, but not popular. 
He always had the reputation for taking a strong 
liquor in his coffee, Fernet, if I remember right. 
His name was Alverado, but I judge that you are 
not acquainted with it." 

"No," replied Jim, "but I should say that he was 
a very fierce character." 

"He was. He was a bandit." 

"I thought so," agreed Jim. 

"This Don Alverado came from a well known 
Spanish family, of ancient lineage, but impoverished 
fortune. He was such a wild and unruly blade 
that his family were decidedly relieved when he 
left Spain and came to the new world to mend his 
fortune, if not his ways. He landed first in Mexico, 
and after a series of more or less remarkable ad- 
ventures, he came to this part of California. I 
knew him, or rather I knew of his family in Spain, 
and for their sake I made him welcome here at my 

"He was really a charming fellow in manner and 
appearance, tall, slight, with dark eyes and hair, a 
typical cavalier. But the graces of his manner did 
not reach down tc his heart, and after a disagree- 
able episode which I need not revive here, he left 
my rancho never to return except as an enemy. 


I heard nothing further of him after his departure 
for some six months. My next introduction to him 
was an unpleasant one. 

"It consisted in the loss of a band of horses and 
a herd of cattle which were driven off by a gang 
of raiders, thirteen in number, at the head of which 
was this fellow Alverado. His depredations went 
on for years among the ranchmen in this part of 
California. So resourceful and crafty was this des- 
perado that he evaded trap after trap laid for his 

"He had several very close calls and there were 
numerous battles between the outlaws and the ranch 
owners, but though some of his men were shot, 
he seemed to bear a charmed life. I remember 
one running fight over the plain yonder, when, be- 
lieving me to be absent from home, as I had been, 
but returned unexpectedly from the north, this 
Alverado and his gang made a bold dash to capture 
some horses from a field directly below the house. 

"It did not take long to get my men together 
and I gave the bandits a surprise indeed. Noth- 
ing but the speed of Alverado's horse, a splendid 
black stallion, saved him from capture. We got 
several of his men however. At last there came 
the turning of the lane. Through the treachery of 
one of the band we found that their rendezvous was 


at the head of a small canyon in a range of foot- 
hills several miles south of here. 

"You will go through it to-morrow on your way 
south, if you carry out your speed schedule, which 
with your remarkable horses you ought to be able 
to. We came upon the gang about noon, where 
they were resting after a long chase. In a corral 
near by were a number of stolen stock. They 
were not expecting trouble of any kind. Some 
were playing cards, a few cooking, most, however, 
were enjoying the siesta, their leader among the 
number lay under the shadow of a tree, his head 
resting on a saddle, sound asleep. 

There were fifty of us, and we had them sur- 
rounded, so that there was no chance of escape. 
Alverado himself made a desperate dash, but the 
cordon was too strong. The rest surrendered. 
That afternoon we took the bunch to the lower 
end of the canyon, where there was a giant syca- 
more tree. There we hanged the whole thirteen, 
and by them no more were troubled not even by 
their ghosts." 

Jim and Jo expressed their appreciation of their 
host's kindness in entertaining them as he truly 
had done in relating his tales. Then they said 
good night and went to their room. 

That night the boys slept in a comfortable bed in 


a quaint old bedroom with roses nodding in at the 
half open casement windows. By the light of the 
candles they could see the strange old and carved 
furniture and tired as they were how they did 

The next morning they started hours before day- 
light. "I will be prepared to welcome more of you 
in a few days," said the Senor Valdez, and the boys 
thanked him heartily. Promising to return soon 
they galloped away through the darkness. 

All day they rode, hardly drawing rein at all. At 
first through the foot-hills and then over the wide 
plains. Jo had a fresh horse, a powerful black, as 
his other mount could not stand the strain of the 
long trip that meant three score and ten of miles be- 
fore evening. 

Early in the afternoon they left the plain and rode 
into the deep and rugged gorges of a mountain 
chain, running East and West. Thence into a broad 
valley leading South-easterly, and about four P. M. 
they turned directly South entering a Pass in the 
Southern side of the valley, from which they 
emerged on a plain. Where the trail left the Pass 
stood a large scycamore tree, when they reached it, 
the Indian messenger rose from its shelter. 



Now without hestitation we must take up the for- 
tunes or rather misfortunes of Tom and Juarez as 
they landed in the darkness upon the mysterious 
island, for our narrative presses to its conclusion. 
Never did they feel more hopeless than on this oc- 
casion, when they were going to a dubious and un- 
certain fate. 

"You boys come with me," called the Captain 

"How about me, Cap'n?" asked Jeems Howell, 
the lanky shepherd. 

"What's your business ?" inquired Captain Broom 

"Looking after the sheeps." 

"Then attend to it," said the Captain grimly. 

"Certainly, Cap'n," replied the shepherd, who was 
incapable of taking offense. 

"You come, Jake," called the Captain, to one of 
the sailors, "and be quick about it, we haven't 


much time." Tom shivered, for in the gloom and 
tired as he was he felt that his time too was 

Then with the Captain in the lead, carrying a 
lantern, which was muffled in his great coat, they 
started, the sailor bringing up the rear. 

"Look out sharp, that these lads don't spring 
something on you, Jake. They are a bad lot." 

"Aye, aye, sir," replied the sailor, "they'll have to 
be quick to get the jump on me, sir." 

"It's the Injun one's the worst. Don't let him 
scalp you," warned the Captain jocosely. 

"I'm no Indian," said Juarez, hoarsely and utterly 
reckless of his fate, "I'm an American, and was 
proud of it, till I found you were one, you cursed 
yankee barnacle." 

"Ho, ho, lad!" roared the Captain, "you won't 
talk so tall in a few minutes. Nothing like a slow 
fire for stewing the nonsense out of a fresh kid." 

"How far is this cave of yours, you are taking us 
to, old salt horse?" said Juarez insolently, and ut- 
terly unwise. 

This was too much for Captain Broom, and with 
an imprecation he turned to strike Juarez. This 
was what Juarez was looking for and as the furious 
Skipper whirled facing him, Juarez dodged his huge 
fist, and sent a fierce hook to the Captain's jaw. 


There was anger, desperation and strength behind 
that blow and the Captain fell, striking his head on 
a rock. That time the Frontier Boys scored. 

"Follow me, Tom," yelled Juarez, and he sprang 
away through the darkness. It seemed like a hope- 
less undertaking to make an escape with the sea on 
one side and the cliffs on the other, and a des- 
perate enemy near at hand. But Juarez thought it 
was best to take a chance. Anything was better 
than captivity, that was seemingly just ahead of 

One thing he was determined on and that was, 
that he would not be taken alive. He ran splashing 
through the water, leaping rocks, with the two 
sailors in fast pursuit. Not far ahead to the right 
was the white dash of the breakers that shut off 
escape in that direction, to the left was the cliffs. 

Then before him rose a steep but not precipitous 
rock that had been divided from the main cliff by 
the action of the water. Instantly Juarez aban- 
doned his desperate plan of plunging into the sea, 
and without lessening his speed, he sprang up the 
rock, in his moccasined feet. 

The sailor who was following most closely, got up 
ten feet when he .slipped and rolled violently to the 
bottom, knocking down the one who came after. 


Once Juarez came near falling but he caught him- 
self, and kept going up, driven by a desperation that 
seemed to carry him over every obstacle. 

"We've got yer, ye little shrimp," exultantly 
cried the sailors at the base of the rock, "Ye can't 
get away unless you fly." 

"Shoot the blasted little varmint," roared the Cap- 
tain, who, still dizzy, had struggled to his feet. In 
obedience to the order a flash punctured the dark- 
ness and there was a roar like artillery echoing 
among the hollow cliffs. A slug of lead whistled 
past Juarez's head. 

The boy had now reached the top of the rock and 
was at the crisis of his fate, a distance of ten feet 
separated him from the main cliff, not an impossible 
jump but the foothold was precarious and uncertain, 
and fifty feet or more below were the jagged rocks, 
and enemies equally as hard, but Juarez did not hesi- 

He dodged down just as the sailors fired another 
shot, then he sprang to the narrow pinnacle of the 
rock and bending slightly forward with bent knees 
and swinging hand, poised for the leap. 

"The condemned fool is going to jump," roared 
the Captain. "Shoot him on the wing." 

But the sailors were not ready and the skipper 
ran between the rock and the cliff to be at hand to 


stamp the life out of Juarez when he should fall as 
he knew he would. Then he leaped, a dark object 
flying through space, his hands caught the edge of 
the cliff, the roots of a small bush held him for a 
moment, then he slipped. Below him was certain 

Two strong hands caught his arms, and he was 
drawn in safety to the cliff above. The Captain and 
the two sailors watched in open mouthed 
wonder, all they could see was the dim figure of 
Juarez crawl in safety over the top of the cliff, but 
they could not determine the means of his es- 

It struck a superstitious chord in their natures 
and the skipper became moody and silent. 

Juarez breathlessly followed the lanky figure of 
the shepherd through the darkness, for it was no 
other who had extended the rescuing hand. Hardly 
a word was spoken, and they started off. After going 
a considerable distance they came to a slab hut built 
at the foot of a high range of hills that formed the 
backbone of the island. 

Two shepherd dogs rushed forth and gave their 
master a boisterous welcome, and were soon good 
friends with Juarez. Everything in the hut was 
neat; with Indian rugs on the floor which gave a 


warm touch of color to the interior and one side of 
the hut was lined with books. 

"What am I thinking of," suddenly cried Juarez 
in dismay, "to leave Tom in the hands of that crew? 
My head is wrong." With that, he grew pale and 
slid unconscious to the floor. He had evidently not 
recovered from the blow that the Mexican had dealt 
him a few days before, and the strain he had been 
under brought on a relapse. The shepherd worked 
over him a long time before he finally brought him 

Meanwhile what had become of Tom? He had 
not been quick enough to make his escape, and his 
fate was in the balance when the Skipper came up 
to him just after Juarez had disappeared over the 

"You don't get away, I promise you that, lad," 
growled the Captain. Roughly seizing the boy by 
the shoulder he dragged him toward the cliff. Then 
the two disappeared into the entrance of a cave, the 
Captain still holding in one hand his battered leather 

The sailor who stood on guard at the entrance, 
saw just then the lights OL a steamer that was just 
entering the channel and he rushed into the cave, 
called to the Captain, and in a few minutes that 
worthy appeared. If he felt any alarm he showed 


none, but without any loss of time he assembled his 
crew, got his boat free of land and rowed silently 
out to sea. Whatever he had intended to do with 
Tom, evidently passed from his mind, now awakened 
to the solution of some other problem. 



As Juarez and Tom were under the kindly es- 
cort of Captain Broom and his sailors in the whale 
boat on their cruise to the mysterious island, Jo, 
Jim and the Spaniard had stopped at an old syca- 
more tree, where, as had been promised, the In- 
dian messenger was awaiting their coming. 

"What news, Yaquis?" asked the Spaniard, 
who knew the Indian well. 

"I saw the boat by my own eyes," he replied, 
"heading for the Big Island," pointing to the 
South. "By her smoke she stopped in the Bow Har- 
bor near the lower end." So spoke the Indian, 
standing straight and tall. He was a picturesque 
sight with his coarse, black hair cut square and 

"The trail is getting warm," exclaimed Jim 
eagerly. "Where can we get a boat?" 

"There is a small boat at the Harbor of San 
Pedro," replied the Spaniard, "that is the prop- 
erty of a friend of mine. I doubt not we can have 
the use of it." 



"It is now a little after six," said Jim. "How 
far is it to the Harbor?" 

"A dozen miles," replied the Indian. 

"Is your horse too tired, Senor Sebastian, 
to make it by eight?" The Spaniard's eyes 

"Senor, Don Fernando is never tired. Let us 

"We are ready," replied Jim. "Which is the 
shortest cut?" 

"I will guide you," was the Indian's response. 

"He knows this country like the foot does the 
shoe," assured the Spaniard. 

Without more ado, the new guide took the lead 
and they rode at a rapid gait in single file. At 
first they went down a gentle grade for several 
miles until they came to a perfectly level plain 
that stretched in three directions to the sea. At 
the end of the land was a perfectly rounded rise 
like a huge long bolster. 

The party of rescuers left the Puebla de los 
Angeles several miles to the East, taking the 
shortest way to the harbor. There was no let-up 
to the speed, if anything, they seemed to be 
going faster, with sweaty sides and shoulders, but 
with unaffected stamina. The going was fine, 


over a springy turf and sometimes they tore 
through wide belts of tall mustard. 

Jo and Jim were in fine fettle as the end of the 
journey came in sight and there was promise of 
their coming to close quarters with the pirates and 
possibly rescuing their oppressed brothers from 
captivity. Then, too, the passage of the strait in 
an open boat appealed to their sense of adventure. 

About eight o'clock, they came to a ranch two 
miles from the harbor, where Senor Sebastian had 
a short talk with a man who owned the small boat 
that had been referred to. He was perfectly 
willing to lend them the boat and also sent a 
Mexican servant to bring back their horses and 
put them up in his stables. Not forgetting to 
thank him for his great kindness to them, the boys 
turned their horses' heads for the harbor, the last 
lap of their long journey had begun. 

In a half hour, they stood on the shore of a 
long, narrow inlet, at a point where a craft was 
moored. From a small boat-house, they got the 
oars, the mast and the sail to be used if the wind 
was right. Then they were ready to get aboard. 
Jim looked at his watch. "It lacks ten minutes of 
nine," he said. 

Then they embarked. The boat was not a 
mere row-boat, but was found to be of good size 


and about equal to a whale boat. It was staunch, 
too, and sea worthy. The mooring was cast off. 
Jim was at the bow oar, and Jo at the one back of 
him on the other side, while the Indian, Yaquis, 
steered. The tide favored them as they glided 
quickly between the banks, and they were not long 
in reaching the channel. 

At first, there was a slow, heavy swell, while in 
the lee of the land, that did not bother the boys 
but within a half hour they were in a choppy sea 
with breaking crests, and now the real work for Jo 
and Jim began. Fortunately, the Indian was a 
most skillful oar, and he kept them from being 
swamped. As yet there was no breeze to help 

"This is almost as good as running the Rapids 
in the Grand Canyon," cried Jim joyously. 

The boys were in fine fettle for their work, not- 
withstanding their long day in the saddle, and they 
buckled to it with a will, although wet through 
with flying spray. They had enjoyed a good rest 
the night before and after their long ride they 
were glad to get the kinks out of their muscles. 
They really made remarkably good headway 
against the sea and the stoical Indian grunted 
approval of their work. Ah, but it was fine, bat- 


tling with the waves through the darkness, while 
the boat thrashed and beat its way ahead. 

The boys stood to their oars and put all the 
strength of their lithe young bodies into the stroke 
and they seemed tireless. The Spaniard had made 
himself comfortable in the bow, where, sheltered 
by a short overhead deck, he was soon fast asleep. 

"Wake me when it is time to be drowned," he 
said. "I know it is my fate." Jim remembered 
the Spaniard's melancholy of the day before, and 
laughed heartily, as he promised. 

"There are the lights of a vessel," cried Yaquis, 
who, though silent, was ever on the watch. 
"Ahead of us to the Southwest." 

"You are right," said Jim. The lights were like 
two faint, moving stars, one aloft and the other 

"That isn't the Pirate ship," declared Jo. "She 
wouldn't be showing any light." After a while, 
the lights of the vessel were suddenly eclipsed, but 
by the dull light of the moon, now risen, the ves- 
sel's bulk could still be made out. 

"She has gone into the further straits," said Ya- 
,quis, "between the two islands." 

A gentle breeze sprang up, but blowing di- 
rectly toward them, it lent no aid. Before mid- 
night, the westerly breeze had died absolutely 


down, and in a not very long time, the sea followed 
suit, leaving a long swell and the rowing be- 
came much easier. Nothing occurred to break the 
monotony for a while. There was the steady 
grinding of the oars in the row-locks and the lap- 
ping of the waves in the gloom, for the moon was 
now obscured by clouds. Then, of a sudden, the 
Indian called a halt. 

"Do you hear footsteps?" inquired Jim, jo- 

"A steamer coming, I hear her, no lights. Pull 
hard." In a minute, even the boys could hear 
the beat of her engines and saw the occasional 
flare from her stacks, then a dark form took shape 
through the night. They pulled lustily for they 
knew their danger and who it was. How quickly 
they would be run down, if discovered, and left to 
drown in the wide strait, when Captain Broom 
found out their identity. No wonder they pulled. 

"Stop now, draw in your oars. Lie down," 
warned the Indian. 

Not a hundred yards to the Eastward came The 
Sea Eagle and she was on an even line with the 
boat that lay a black patch on the dark water. If 
Captain Broom was not on the Bridge they would 
be safe. 

"Boat ahoy," boomed out his voice. 


"Indian fishermen," cried Yaquis. "Stop, take 
me ashore." 

With a growl, the Captain sent his ship ahead, 
paying no attention to the "Indian fisherman" in 
distress. There was a gleam of white teeth as 
the Indian smiled at the hearty congratulations of 
the boys and their glee at his stratagem. Then 
the Spaniard and Yaquis took the oars while Jim 
steered and Jo slept. 



When morning came, they were but a few miles 
from the Northern end of the longer Island and 
the fog was over the whole sky. The sea was 
glassy with a sullen glaze. Nowhere was there 
sign of any steamer or ship. The Sea Eagle 
had made good her escape. 

"I wish we had a stiff breeze to help us along," 
said the Spaniard, who loved not manual labor, as 
did the boys. 

"It will come, the strong breeze, soon," said the 

"When we make the Island, what are we to do ?" 
asked Jo. 

"Who can tell, maybe Tom and Juarez have been 
taken along with the Skipper, instead of being 

"That's so," replied Jo, and gloom settled down 
upon his spirits, heavier than the fog upon the 

"We will keep after them," said the never de- 


spondent Jim, "even if we have to chase them 
around the world." 

The boat seemed to crawl so slowly along, and 
the boys began to fret in their eagerness to find 
out whether their comrades were on the island or 
not, but they were not yet close enough to make 
out any object upon its surface. Then from the 
West there came a breeze rippling the glassy wa- 

"Up with the sail," cried Jim. "Here's where 
we fly." 

As the breeze strengthened to a wind, they went 
towards the island at a clipping gait. When they 
got within a half mile of the shore, they began to 
look eagerly for some sign of a living being and 
they were disappointed at first, but they drove 
their boat along as near the shore as they dared. 

"Say, did you hear that?" cried Jim in excite- 
ment. "That was a rifle shot, or my name is 

"Three men on the shore," said the Indian, im- 

"I see them," cried Jo, "on that beach yonder. 
I believe it is Tom and Juarez. Hurrah for the 
Frontier Boys." 

"It is they," declared Jim as they drew closer. 


"but how Tom has grown. He looks over six 

"That isn't Tom," said Jo. "It's some one else. 
The short one is Tom." Then he saw Jim grin 
and realized that he had been kidded. 

"If this wasn't my busy day," said Jo, "I'd give 
you a punching for being so smart." 

Five minutes later, the boat had grounded on 
the pebbly beach and The Frontier Boys were 
again united. There was a great jubilee for a 
while with the Spaniard, the Indian, and the 
lanky shepherd on the outskirts of the family cele- 
bration, but in a short time they were all good 
friends, each according to his different nature : the 
Spaniard, suave and courteous, the Indian stolid, 
but with his share in the general good-will, and 
Jeems Howell, the shepherd, lankily humorous. 

"We met our old friend Captain Broom in the 
channel, boys," said Jim, "steaming along like the 
Devil was after him." 

"I'll give him reason to think so," growled 
Juarez sullenly, "if I ever get on his trail." 

The Indian, Yaquis, grunted approval, for there 
seemed to be a bond of sympathy between him 
and Juarez, as the reader can well understand. 

"How far is that cave, Tom, where the old 
codger left you?" inquired Jo. 


"Just around the bend," said Tom. "Here's the 
rock where Juarez made his famous jump." 

"How did you ever get up there?" asked Jo in 
wonder, looking up at the pinnacle of rock. 

"You'd a done the same if those fellows had 
been chasing you," replied Juarez, "but if it 
hadn't been for Jeems here catching me when I 
jumped they would have got me after all." 

"I was a f card you might have fallen on the 
Skipper and a hurt him. He's a kind of a tender 
plant you know." The Shepherd made this re- 
mark with a perfectly sober face, in no wise dis- 
turbed by the hilarity of the boys, over the idea 
of the tenderness of the Skipper. 

"Here's the cave," said Juarez, and he led the 
way through an arched opening in the wall of the 
cliff. Picking up a lantern, he went ahead as 

"This is certainly a dry cave," said Jim. 

"It ought to be," said Jeems Howell. "It don't 
rain on this Island more than twice a year, but I 
feel it in my bones that it is coming on to storm 

"I hope you don't feel it in all your bones," re- 
marked Jim, quizzically, "because it is liable to be 
a long drawn out storm if you do." 


The lanky Shepherd gave himself over to 
spasms of silent mirth at Jim's queer humor. 

"Here's where we found Tom," said Juarez. 
"Just discovered him a couple of hours before you 
discovered us." 

When the Captain had made his sudden change 
of plans, Tom made himself as comfortable as he 
could for the night, intending to search for Juarez 
in the morning. 

"Sometime I hope that this wretched Captain 
will be captured and imprisoned right here," said 
the Spaniard with a cold, vindictiveness. 

"If he comes snooping around here again, that 
is what will happen to him," remarked Jim quietly. 
"I suppose, Tom, that he hid some of the loot he 
took from us in this cave somewhere. I bet this 
is his safe deposit vault, all right." 

"He went back in there with his small satchel," 
said Tom, indicating the depths of the cave as yet 

"It will keep," said Jim, "but before I leave this 
island for Hawaii, I am going to search every cor- 
ner of this cave and see if I cannot find our prop- 

"We discovered it in a cave and perhaps we will 
lose our treasure in a cave," said Juarez, who was 
something of a fatalist. 


"Don't you believe that we won't find it," declared 
Jim stoutly, "but no work for me for a while. I'm 
going to take a good rest." 

"So say we all of us," chanted the boys. 

"Gentlemen," said Jeems Howell oracularly, "If 
it pleases you, and Christopher Columbus," with a 
wave of his hand toward Jim, "who discovered this 
savage group, we will now adjourn to my castle on 
the distant hillside." 

"We are with you," declared those assembled in 
unison, and in a short time they were making 
their way up the slope towards the "castle" on the 
hillside, where they made themselves at home. 

All the new arrivals at the island were soon fast 

Later after several hours of rest, they occupied 
themselves according to their different ideas of com- 

The Spaniard amused himself thrumming" on a 
guitar, that belonged to one of the Mexican herders 
on the island. Tom got a book, and stretched out 
on a rug forgetful of all his recent troubles, while 
Jim and Juarez borrowed a couple of guns and went 
for an hour's hunting, in the woods which at that 
time covered the mountain ridges of the island. 

That evening they were all gathered in the cabin 
before the blazing fire on the stone hearth, while 


outside raged the Easterly storm that Jeems Howell 
had predicted, with rush of wind and sweep of rain. 
But the slab cabin was storm proof and comfortable. 
It is a good place to leave the boys after their days 
of trial and bitter hardship. In our next book we 
will meet "The Frontier Boys in Hawaii, or The 
mystery of The Hollow Mountain." There, I feel 
confident they will cope with adventures as unusual 
and as remarkable as they have heretofore encount- 
ered. I am sure that the Reader will be anxious to 
accompany them on their journey. But we must 
permit the Frontier Boys to have the last word, in 
this volume. 

"Do you think that Captain Broom, will return 
here, before we get away for Hawaii, Jim?" in- 
quired brother Jo. 

"I certainly do," replied Jim, "and we will be 
right here, to give him a warm and hearty Wel- 
come, you can rest assured of that." 


A 000 057 868 2